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Her vision was wavering slowly as she struggled to keep herself upright from the bathtub, where she has been drenching herself wet with a full tub of ice cold water since an hour ago. Malva was always having her own unique capabilities on doing weird and questionable things but this one could be out of the line, even for her. If she was a regular human, she probably would've froze herself into potentially getting herself a severe case of cold or even pneumonia. For someone who was supposed to be wise in her age, she sure wasn't acting that way. It has been that in her endless daily cycle of a routine since the past week, right after she returned from Atlanta. Clearly whatever happened there took a toll on the Aspect of Magic.
As she noticed her breathing was getting more jittery and was in an uneven pace, she got herself out from the freezing tub and stared at her reflection in the mirror. From top to bottom, head to toe, she was fully wet. Her light locks were messy and unkempt and so was the hollow look that rested on her face. She could've mistaken her to be a living dead body, considering how empty she looks like. Her once sapphire blue hues were no longer bright as it used to be, and what was left was that of a void one. "What are you doing, Malva. You stupid girl..", she mumbled as she took a towel from the shelf and dried her hair before rinsing her face at the sink.
It has been approximately 3 days since she found that book. The book that contained all possible knowledge on the crafty ancient magic form that is called sacrificial magic. For someone who is more experienced in traditional and ancestral ones due to her past and upbringing the first time, she knew she sealed that particular book for a good reason. It was bad enough that she wasn't a big fan of dark magic, and now she's reading on sacrificial ones. But then again, we don't always get what we want. After drying herself up, she changed into a pair of new clothes before plopping herself on the bed, flipping the said book open. The dragon's prying eyes were skimming through the pages carefully and took her time trying to analyze every word, up until she decided it wasn't healthy to do that. Malva forced every strength that was within her body to push herself away from the book by placing it in the other extended room, not forgetting to lock them before exiting her room.
The Russian born Ailward sibling released her hair from the ties and put on her boots half way trying to get downstairs. Not wanting to draw any unnecessary attention upon herself, she rushed through the steps as fast fast as her feet could take her before swiftly sneaking out from the back door. She would never get a chance to go anywhere alone if there was as much as one soul that was within their faction caught a wind up about her going out. it was given that the Aspect of Magic wasn't exactly the best person to leave off unattended and alone. It's bad enough that her temperament isn't very subtle and that she was already as reckless as her unpredictable self. Surprisingly, Malva had other matters to attend to other than brood over ancient spells and books in her room all day.
With a few simple magic tricks, she got a hold on keys to the previous Volvo V40 she used before, and found herself settling on the driver's seat. Starting up the engine, Malva drove off from the compound of the Ailward territory, into her destination; North East City Corner, where the vampires and dhampirs alike resided at. It was also a place she hasn't stepped into since a while ago, ever since she took a hiatus off the doctor job. Within the next couple of minutes or so, the Ailward Aspect found herself parking the car a few blocks away from the Dhampir Dojo. The pre-winter weather was blowing non-existent chills up her spine, as the tenacious flaxen haired Aspect of Magic walked up the steps to the entrance door of the Dojo and literally made herself comfortable sauntering inside when one opened the door. Either they knew who she was, which is honestly not a shock anymore ever since their identity revelation or they never bothered to actually ask. Surely they would be able to sense her supernatural status due to their ability.
Her steely hues landed on someone who was by the corner of the room that she had walked in earlier. Just the person she sought out for. Axel Mathias. Leaning against the door frame, she tilted her head slightly to the side as she stared at him. "Thought I'd never find you. But here you are. In the most obvious place one could ever try to find a dhampir at."
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He was busy sparring with his partner, yet another familiar faces from the many files that were hoarded up back home. As of this moment, it was shocking to see so many of them piling up on the desk since that's all that they ever do. Collect intel and exercise it. A very healthy way of lifestyle, no doubt. Once she got his attention, she crossed her arms and offered a tight lipped smile. Civil and hospitality was not in Malva's nature, unfortunately. truly much to the dismay of her siblings and ones who had the chance of knowing her. For someone who spent all her life being quite the empathic person, she's doing one hell of a good job at denying those prospects from coming back in life.
"Yes, hi. I'm Malva." Just as his question were short, so was her response. The Aspect of Magic is rarely petty but most of the times, she proved to be quite the opposite of what she's usually is. Hence, the unpredictability she withheld all those centuries. If she wasn't on the side of the world being at peace, she probably would've been one of those 'prospects' the Aspects and the guards keep an eye on. After all, a neutral person is always questionable. "I assume you're Axel Mathias. Unless they got the wrong picture for the profile.", she muttered, her tone lowering slightly to almost a mutter of distaste but never actually showed it upfront. "You have quite the history, Mr Mathias. Especially with humans, no?" Malva wasn't a fool not to know it was going to strike a certain cord in him, seeing as that seemed to be quite the sensitive topic to dally about.
"Well, long story short, setting all those formal pleasantries aside, I'm here for that particular part. To talk to you about your past, and not to reminisce the fateful day painfully, but to offer you possible answers to your 'questions'." She was sure by now, the dhampir could already sense the aura she emitted as well as the energy she holds. That usually does get her out of her character very easily, very much to her chagrin.
The entire time, she was analyzing the man before her. She has always been attentive to her surroundings, so she could calculate her next words and moves, even though most of the time it never actually worked in her defense, seeing as the abrasive Aspect never had such thing called filter when it comes to running her mouth. However, being the most temperamental sibling after her older brother, Erythreus, she wasn't really liking the situation laid out in front of her. She never liked to be pushed around by other people. Not even her siblings. Despite him towering over her, she would not let him intimidate her. She's Malva, being short isn't a weird occurrence and so was intimidation on daily basis.
So when she received such response coming from the dhampir, she wasn't exactly liking the odds. But she kept her silence until he eventually whisked her off outside, where she followed obediently like she wasn't so close to transforming him into an animal right on the spot. Standing by the car, she raised her eyebrows in contempt, a judging look rising up to plaster itself across her face. "How do I know you're not going to take me somewhere secluded where you can kill me and dump my body offshore some place no one would ever find me. Like in a quarry, perhaps. Not that there is one up until miles front. You can't blame me for being suspicious, mister. With that kind of tone, anyone would be the same. I'm just looking out for myself. Don't particularly want to end the day that way. Not today, at least."
Putting up a coy smile, she held both her hands in defense before getting herself in. "Don't worry, you couldn't kill me even if you tried. Not that I should be worried about it. You don't seem the type." Briefly glancing out the window from the passenger seat, she leaned back and averted her gaze to him instead. "I don't like to be commanded by anyone so no one sent me. A lot of people don't like humans, I don't so I don't see how it's any different. Personal preferences, but I get where you're at. Well, I don't exactly hate all of them but I know where you come from, so I'm not judging. It's not hard, Axel. Everyone knows everybody in this city, it's not like it's that big to begin with." The Aspect of Magic shrugged casually as she dismissed it off simply. "You're about the 100th person who told me to get a life. So I did. I got out from my house and went to find you." She still hasn't told him why she knew who he was, but it wasn't nearly as fun if she spilled everything so easily.
Staring at the male before her with a scrutinizing gaze, she then shrugged and opened the door before plopping inside. "Your mother taught you well with the whole mannerism thing, though me being me might beg to differ. Bold of you to assume you can land a hit anywhere close without having the risk of being turned into an animal the next." Now now, Malva is known for this temperament of hers, of being very sarcastic and salty almost all the time. It could be her defense mechanism truly, but she'd like to think it's just her abrasive nature. Just because she was resurrected, didn't mean none of her traits weren't enhanced even more. She didn't need to be a vampire or a nephilim, knowing fully well just having such emotions at bay while having magic under her sleeves was a dangerous occurrence.
"Fine, I apologize for my 'intrusion' earlier, though it seems like you've just finished whatever it was you had before. Guess for once in my life, I had proper timing. I can't blame you for being paranoid, some lady just comes up the door step of your Dojo and wanted to see you and wouldn't take no for an answer. Then she magically knew everything about you. If that's not paranoia, I don't know what it is. But the same goes for me, trying to keep my facade up at least." Narrowing her blue hues at the dhampir, she clicked her tongue in annoyance. "If I wanted to kill you, I would have tried to do so when you said my name." She mocked, and it was one of her most infuriating trait of hers. Well, she did live all her life long enough with her siblings. They weren't exactly the bunch you would take up examples from.
"Good, you can sense me. No need to tell my biography as a witch then. I assumed you would know what witches do. Fortunately, I am not under any coven in this city, so you're in it for a luck if I accidentally used them. For defensive purposes, of course." Her brother would kill her if she used them for fun. Not that she had much of a time to dally around about it. Scrunching her nose slightly at the sight of him smoking, that was one thing she disliked about the modern 21st century. "I'll tell you why I came and how I knew about you once we reach your place. A much more private place to talk. I don't want anyone else to listen to whatever conversation I'll be having with you next. And I am sure the other party wouldn't like it either if I pry into it. So have at it, mister. You're getting your answers for the mysterious massacre in your local Dojo once upon a time ago."
She was a hard person to be tolerated, that much she knew. It was because she left herself the same way. She didn't come from a good upbringing life in the past and considering all the things that has occurred to her and her family, playing both sides with light and dark wasn't the best job there is. She still wondered if they had never intervened in the whole Phoenix and Initia issue in the city before, would she be here in the eternal city? She was against the very idea of stepping out from the Isle just to venture here of all places, but not because she hated the foundation and root of the city. If anything it was the opposite. She liked the fact that a city such as this was created and all of the species could come live together in peace as they co-exist with one another. The only reason why she despised the city was because she was robbed off her own home, the Isle of Skye. And all because she just had to come directly to solve it.
It was clear why the Aspect of Magic had resented the very idea of it ever since. The devastation that took over the entire faction as they mourned over their loss and tears spilled over fallen comrades, it enhanced her resentment even more and the idea of shoving everything away was easier for the dragon. Hence, why it was hard to break into her. She kept herself silent throughout the entire drive back to his place and once they had arrived, she trailed behind him, following the dhampir into his complex home. She did stop outside the doorway though, and took a brief glance over the corridors and mumbled a very small and simple incantation for a cloaking spell. Since she was thoroughly experienced in the arts of non verbal spells, she didn't need to memorize anything, but just to be safe, she had increased the warding over the top layers on the cloaking spell as well as magnified it by placing a soundproof one; to block any unintended parties listening to her conversation.
Moments later, she stepped and closed the door. "You're not the only one who's paranoid." She stated as she took a seat in front of him, Facing the male directly, she could sense his aura oozing out. As the Aspect of Magic, Malva was obligated to watch over those who are aligned with it as well as those who lived immortally. Both of which that is also him, given his species. Dhampirs used Rune Casting spell and also had an immortality switch. It also helps when her personal guard was Tatiana, who was also a dhampir, so knowing all about a dhampir's habits were not out of the question. "I spelled the apartment. Nothing shady. Just a few cloaking, soundproof and warding spell so no one would enter or hear whatever. Because what I'm about to tell you is very important to be kept a secret. In all honesty, I shouldn't even tell you of this but my good consciousness knew you deserved an explanation to what happened to your family decades ago." Setting herself comfortably, she began. "You were under the impression that a group of humans murdered your family at your local Dojo, no?" But first, Malva needed information and clarification just as much. Because this was bigger than any of them.
Her suspicions were proven to be right. It was a clarification she needed, despite not really helping through any of the heap of problems she currently has stacked up on her plate. "You're not wrong about the humans part, being the perpetrator who carried out the sentence. This is where I come in, because none of this is supposed to concern me because it's clear, you and I don't know each other, neither one of us has a connection outside our own families and faction. So, what happened was, I was digging into something about 2 weeks ago. It was my matter and while I was doing some research on it, I found that it trailed up to that particular massacre." Malva was choosing her words very carefully, and she was using every hint of subtlety that was within her to make sure she did not accidentally give up information she didn't want to.
Biting her bottom lip, she pursed her lips slightly before continuing. "I was confident that the massacre that occurred those years ago was not a pure coincidence. I don't believe in them, and it's very hard to navigate through them when you're sure everything else was already there, laid in front of you in puzzle pieces, waiting to be pieced up to form a full picture. In my case, that's what happened. I got a wind up somewhere from my contacts that the person that I've been digging on had an access to an amount of power that came from sacrifices. Basically, magic has a lot of forms and this particular one is very old and ancient, dated back in the days where civilization hasn't morphed into what it is today." The flaxen haired woman had to take a few breathers because she found it hard to disclose this kind of information and she knew the emotion that would plague Axel once he found out his parents were a collateral damage. A casualty in the play.
"The deaths that occurred there was 12. To gain such power, the diviner would have to tap and channel into something, or someone, for proper access to perform whatever condescending spell they had in mind. I retraced it so I could see what type of magic they were using and they got their energy from the sacrifices. The 12 dhampirs that was sacrificed was one of them. They may have seen that there were humans who didn't particularly like your kind and they were used as a pawn. A tool in their bravado. It was stronger because dhampirs are a species that was aligned with magic altogether, so the outcome of the sacrifice would offer them great access to the power and energy they needed. It wasn't a mere coincidence that your parents were killed in cold blood, Axel. They were at the wrong place at the wrong time. I'm sorry." However, Malva didn't come here to play pity card and offer him condolences. She was there because she wanted to know more about the humans that were in play with the event. It was an information that she couldn't get a hold of without alerting any of her siblings and she can't have them know she was looking into it. Not yet.
Malva was really under the dilemma of not spilling everything right there, so she was still trying to hold on to the thread that was seamless. When she saw his reaction, she was not surprised, knowing exactly what and how he would respond to such news. It was a devastating blow to anyone, even her if she was in his shoes. Given, to brief him of such news and revelation was quite the challenge because she wasn't supposed to dig into it. Not really. Hence, the reason why she has not told any of her siblings or literally anyone in her faction regarding the matter, with the exception of Aurelia, who tagged along with her when she ventured to Atlanta 2 weeks ago.
So when Axel suddenly demanded to know how she came across such an important piece of information, she fiddled with her hands and pondered whether she should tell him of her identity. There was no harm in it for sure seeing as their identities weren't exactly that much of a secret in the eternal city, shortly after they were revealed. Malva also understood that she should not give him any predicament to doubt her and since paranoia is a very powerful tool in determining one's emotions, she decided to spare herself off it. "You've been in the city for some time now, Axel. So I don't doubt you haven't hear what goes around. The previous Phoenix vs Initia issue and how a force came intervening in the matters. An organization who has operated for centuries long, up to 1200 years of it, called the Ailward faction. I'm a part of them, the council." Sighing heavily, the Aspect of Magic meet his eyes and told him of her name, without any edging.
"My name is Malva. Malva Ailward. The eldest of the 4 sisters of Ailward faction. I'm an Ailward Aspect, Aspect of Magic if we were being specific. Therefore, I govern over the matters that occurs in the world, everywhere. Anything that is connected and aligned with magic; also those who lives on immortally. Diviners, dhampirs.. etc." To give her identity has never been easy for the dragon. It's been a while and yet she still struggles within it. "I know this because it's my duty and responsibility to know of it. If any imbalance that occurs, it's my job to fix it. And since my element is magic, here I am." It's not every day you find somewhat an authority figure of the supernatural world standing before you in your home. So she could understood if he took his time trying to work his way around such theory.
"It doesn't matter which species they were from. There's always the bad and good of each one, if there weren't, there would be no balance, unfortunately. But I agree that the fact that your parents and others were killed solely for the irresponsible party to draw power from, that's cruel and beyond trial." The flaxen haired Ailward Aspect would lie if she couldn't sense the tension building up from within because she could almost see the anger radiating from him earlier. "Things are never what it seems. Believe me, I had more than a lifetime to take it in." She mumbled, just audible enough for him to hear. When the dhampir offered her refreshments, she had to decline. "No thank you, I just drank something, a potion or somewhat, and I really need to keep it down for now. Meaning = No other food or drink will be able to go down in 4 more hours."
Malva could understood how this is somehow quite difficult to get around despite him being a slightly older than most dhampir she's met. Surely he should get her words but he probably never thought there was such an organization existing in the first place. Well, they did tend to keep their affairs secretly. Sighing to herself, she huffed out slightly before trying to find words to piece it up. "Possibly." The flaxen haired Aspect quipped when he said he probably did not know what was occurring to the city. Somehow, it managed to slip a few watchful eyes' sight too. So she wasn't exactly surprised. "Unfortunately, we're not related biologically. I have 7 siblings altogether. 4 brothers, 3 sisters. I'm the only child too.. Same goes for all 7 of us. 1200 years ago, we came together to form an organization to help keep a watchful eye on the elements surrounding the world. We opted for a surname that kept us together as a family since we work as one entity anyways."
The Ailward Aspect was trying her best to keep her words short and simple while explaining. It probably wouldn't be that good or too much in her favor to actually divulge in more than she should. She needed him to trust her, even if it was a small amount, in order for her to obtain the said information she sought out in the first place. The very reason why she visited the male dhampir. "But yes, I'm the only Aspect of Magic. Until I pass, then someone with the next potential will be passed down the mantle. But I'm leaving anytime soon. Not yet. Not until I solve some unfinished problems." She muttered, obviously displeased with the fact that it has a tendency to rile her up by piling themselves on her plate.
"You must wonder why I came to you. But yes, you are supposedly under my guardship because you're a dhampir, and they are aligned with magic. But the particular reason why I'm here is because as much as I had the knowledge to tell you what happened to your parents, thus putting your doubts to rest, I need information. Am I to think that you never tried to find out what happened to your parents? Like not even once? Surely you had some leads on to the humans who did that. Their contacts.. Just their names, even." She truly did wish he had something to say because if not, her suspicions on making her journey there would be pointless. Malva wasn't a righteous person, not really. She only believes in keeping peace and balance, nothing more nor less. "So yes, I did not come here out of the goodness of my heart, Axel. I'm tracing this back since it concerns something bigger but I can't let my siblings know.." Scrunching her nose slightly at his mention of witches, she couldn't help but to shrug. "Actually that would be true since there are such things as potions.. And witches. I'm literally a witch. I just have more abilities than an ordinary diviner aka witches and warlocks. Come on, you're a dhampir who's literally half human half vampire and you find it hard to believe witches existed?"