All Erythreus could feel lately was a sense of doom. For the better part of his days, the Aspect of Death had been hanging his head low, and avoiding most people. All he'd ever really known was alcohol and brooding. Ery had been worrying about literally everything, but nothing had bothered him more than losing one of their own. Having a dark force among them, that no one could seem to figure out, meant that he'd have to take action, sooner rather than later. 

Erythreus had been pondering one idea after another, going through his head, over and over again listing those he could reach out to for help. Each idea he'd came up with so far though, seemed worse than the last, which left him sitting here a bottle and a half of booze later, with nothing. Ery wasn't the type to give up nor back down when it came to a threat against those he cherished the most, but being faced with the horror of people coming up missing, yet not entering the realm of death, had puzzled him beyond comprehension.

Enraged and feeling empty, Erythreus decided to take a walk just outside the manor. Usuaully a little fresh air went a long ways for Ery. He enjoyed the outdoors a lot more than people assumed, given all the time he spent locked behind his own bed room door with a bottle of booze attached to his hand. Cemeteries were the one place he'd found the most comfort in however, and that led Ery out back, where a few graves had been dug, and tombstones planted to mark those that they had lost. Vladimir's would be the newest edition, and he wasn't sure he'd ever be ready to see it sitting among the rest. 

Kneeling, the Aspect swiped his finger tips across the engraved words on the cold cement tombstone, reading each of them, before looking to the sky as though they might be there, watching over the rest of them. Fallen guards was never an easy matter for those left behind to grieve their absence, but it seemed as though Vlad's disappearance had taken a much bigger tole on everyone. Ery had only wished he could ease everyone's pain at times, but there were days where he felt it as strongly as the others, and every once in a while, he needed a moment to 'feel'. He had to be strong for the rest, and normally he did pretty good, but today was just one of those days. And, truth be told, leader or not, Ery needed someone to confide in. 

Just as she walked around the corner, Erythreus gave a faint smile. He figured if anyone could talk to him about these things, that it would be her. And, at the very least, she'd be able to listen to his thoughts, and the things he felt he needed to do, to keep everyone safe now that something was happening in the city. "How's it going Tavia?" he questioned, and got to his feet, before stuffing his hands into his pockets. Erythreus knew better than to assume that Octavia would stay out of the way while the others handled Vladimir's disappearance, and frankly, he didn't want her too, with that, came the idea of him confiding in her. Erythreus knew more than anyone, that she wasn't just going to sit back and grieve. 

As the Aspect stood there, he gave her a side glance, sighing to himself a little "One of those days for you too?" he asked, figuring she'd wandered out here for the same reasons as he; to collect her thoughts. 

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Her life had changed so much in the past two months, so much so that she barely recognized the person that stood in front of her in the mirror. It had been agonizing to go through, losing her soulmate and yet she found herself still able to stand, still able to breathe, still able to think about missions and everything they needed to do to solve this. That was what was keeping her going right now, knowing her family needed her and knowing that she wouldn’t fully rest until she had the truth about what happened to her husband.

That didn’t mean she wasn’t sad or angry though, she was all of those things every time she thought about what happened and her own lack of knowledge of what happened, it was frustrating, knowing you were there but having no recollection of it. Questioning whether it was your fault because you woke up covered in blood or whether you were just collateral damage to the fight. She didn’t have answers to those questions and that frustrated her no end, it made her want to go back there and search every corner of that place for a clue but when she came back she agreed to do things by book and that’s what she was trying to uphold.

Becoming Malva’s personal guard had helped, the aspect of magic was always so caught up in everything that it was a welcome distraction for the blonde, getting lost in everyone else’s problems seemed to help her take her mind of her own for a little while. The nightmares were still there but she knew that was just going to take time. Losing the person you saw as a life partner in such a way, it hurt like hell but there was a part of her that knew she needed to keep going because the moment she stopped was the moment everything became too hard to cope with. It wasn’t a perfect way of handling things but she wasn’t sure there was a right away to handle losing everything you ever knew.

She couldn’t sleep so after a while of tossing and turning in her bed she had gotten dressed and gone outside for a stroll around the gardens, she liked doing this on the bad days, it made her feel calmer, more at peace with the world and gave her the chance to just breathe without every eye being on her. She wandered around for a while, her eyes turned to the sky to take in the breathtaking view of the stars they were treated to tonight. Thankfully it was still warm with the late summer air and everything felt serene. It was a false sense of security considering everything happening lately of course but it was what she needed.

As she spotted Ery as she walked around the corner around the manor, she returned his smile, she tended to prefer to be alone on these walks but she always had a soft spot for the aspects and she knew Ery was going through a lot having recently stepped up into the leadership position. Without hesitation she made her way over to him, eyes drifting over graves he was standing by and pressed her lips together “About as well as it possibly could, given the situation” she spoke softly as she bowed her head a little and came to stand beside him “And you? Gotta be a lot of pressure, taking over and all” she glanced up at him and shrugged her shoulders gently.

“Pretty much every day” she joked with a shrug of her shoulders “I don’t sleep all that much lately, just filled with all the memories” she admitted with a nod of her head “None of it is helped by the fact we have no idea what we’re up against” she spoke softly tilted her head slightly “Though you know a fair bit about having the weight of the world on your shoulders” she couldn’t imagine it was easy for him at all.

Erythreus stared at the tombstones and the names engraved on them for a moment longer before looking at Octavia, who seemingly held herself together quite well given her circumstances. But, he could also see how broken she was by just making eye contact with her. It hurt the Aspect of Death to see one of their own grieving like this, and while he was so very used to death and people around him dying, he wasn't use to seeing someone he cared about this much, hurt this badly. No words could take her suffering away, only actions, and for now, Erythreus didn't have a clue what they were gonna do. He knew what he wanted to do personally, but being irrational and impulsive like he was, he knew his judgement and decision making was clouded, therefor, he had decided for one not to act on the first thoughts that entered his mind. 

When Octavia responded, he gave a simple nod of acknowledgement.He figured it's the most she could even come up with right now, "Well, with everything you're going through, at least you're trying to keep yourself straight.. I imagine not many could be as strong as you've been" he started, and began gazing to the sky with his hands still nuzzled into his leather jacket pockets. "but, I think we all need to break down a little sometimes" he added, knowing that even he himself, mr dark and broody even needed a moment to let go of all the pent up emotions, rather than standing tall and being strong. Erythreus never cried around people, and when he did it angered him worse than he had started out being. But, he absolutely refused to let anyone in the manor see him breaking down, he was sure that most of them were now looking to him for answers, and if he were to busy crying and losing his shit, then they would all slowly start to fall apart, lose hope, and that was a faction's greatest weakness. 

When the leader falls out of line, so do the rest. 

Ery's gaze averted to her when she expressed how it must've been a lot of pressure to step up at a time like this. He chuckled dryly and shook his head "Man.." he stated, trying to keep from letting that emotional spiral take over right then and there "It really is. You're one of the first to even mention that, it's nice that someone took a second to step back and wonder how crazy things have been for me as well" he added, giving her a faint smile before dropping his head again, grimacing a little as he stared at the ground. 

Erythreus then nodded when she said it was one of those days pretty much every day "I can't begin to imagine what you've went through and seen Octavia" he added with a genuine tone. Erythreus had seen plenty of death, actually, it never even stopped for him. But, he dreaded the moment that Vladimir entered the realm.. and the fact that he hadn't yet, had completely mind boggled the Aspect of Death. There'd been a slight rift between him and Deus because of everything. Deus couldn't sense a life gone, but Erythreus had never felt one enter his own realm. There'd been plenty of disagreements, shouting, and tears shed so far. This was only just the beginning though, sadly. 

Hearing her say she hadn't slept much lately, he could completely understand that much. Erythreus had never been a heavy sleeper himself, and the moments where he was found even so much as relaxing were rare ones. "Keeping his memory alive is the most any of us can do right now" he responded, understanding that Octavia had shared the most with Vladimir, and if anyone was haunted by those memories, it'd be her. "I never sleep either, you're always welcome to hang with me during the late night hours when things seem the most unbearable" he offered, and a more genuine smile graced his features followed by that statement. 

Her next words seemed to have a louder ring than any so far, but Erythreus knew she wasn't pinning him and blaming him for the fact that they'd not yet figured out what they were up against, but more so just speaking her concerns, which seemed to be a legit concern for the entire faction at this point. "I suppose that's what we all wanna know right now, what it is we're up against" he stated, and with that, the expression on his face changed, as though for a moment, he'd became a little darker than his usual self. "I can't explain it, but whatever this is, It's much bigger than any of us, bigger than anything we're anticipating. For the first time in a long time, I'm fearful" he admitted, and cleared his throat, not wanting to make matters any worse for her "But,, whatever it is, we'll handle it. I won't let anything happenn to anyone else we love.. we have to keep our own safe, no matter the cost" he added, while flexing his hands into fists. Anger boiled his blood to think that they'd still not gotten any closer to avenging Vladimir, or even so much as figuring out what had even happened to him yet. 

"Oh you couldn't have said that better. I feel like I can't brethe sometimes, but it's all worth it in the end. I just wanna be the person everyone needs me to be right now, it would just be nice to find little moments where I can also be me.. but such as life" he chuckled, but meant every word  of that. Most of the faction ambassadors could probably relate with him, when it came to never having a second to be yourself, especially when it was your own faction falling apart, that meant even less time to have for ones self. 

"I think we should start with what we've all seen / been through" he then said, wondering if anyone in the manor had been through anything strange lately, and if they had, going back to the source of what they'd seen, may just give tthem some answers they never even knew to look for. "Anything is better than nothing at all" he muttered, because for a while now, that's what they'd been working with; nothing. "I'm sure Vlad would be pretty proud of you O. He wouldn't have wanted you to sit back and do nothing, or stay out of the way like most expect you to, but I never expect that, I think if anyone should be fighting for the truth of all this, that it should be you, and you know we all have your back.. more than anything, we all need to be looking out for each other right now" he finished off, not wanting to talk her ears off before she could process the things he said. 

"Maybe we can go do something distracting today" he then suggested. Erythreus figured she needed a break from all of this, even if she wouldn't necessarily take a break, she could at least do something semi-normal, or around the terms of 'fun'. 

She shrugged a little “I have children, being strong isn’t really a choice” she supposed he might understand what it was like to have people relying on you and therefore having to put a brave face on in order to be the person they needed you to be “I did the breaking down part many times already, it’s time to try something new” she gave him a slight nod and held his gaze, she was never going to move past this until she had the truth. “I notice a lot I guess” she spoke softly and pressed her lips together “Being the leader, that’s gonna take a toll, it’s why I never wanted to be commander” she spoke honestly and nodded slightly “Keep people you can talk to close and listen to them, don’t let it go to your head” that was the best advice she had for him right now.

“And at the same time, you see exactly what I’m going through every day” she commented as she looked up at him “How do you handle it? Being surrounded with death constantly?” she had seen her fair share of it too and every time she thought about it, it made her miserable, she couldn’t imagine what it was like to watch quite literally everyone pass on. He was right though, all she could do right now was make sure that the loss wasn’t in vain, that the tragedy of her husband’s death became the fire they needed to find who did this and take them off the board for good. “Noted” she responded “Don’t be surprised when I show up randomly then, sleep keeps running away from me” she admitted with a shrug, nor was it something she enjoyed doing right now anyway.

“And yet no one has any clue at all” she spoke as she sat herself down on the ground by the graves and tucked her knees into her chest, her eyes scanning over each one with sad eyes “Can’t help but feel like there’s a reason for that, that whatever this is we’re facing, they’re already 10 steps ahead of is” she was scared because if someone could outwit some of the smartest and strongest warriors the world had seen, she had no idea what else they might be capable of “You and me both” she spoke with an affirming nod “but I will fight with my every breath to keep everyone else safe” he nodded solemnly, even now, she would give her life for these people.

Her green eyes followed him as he talked about the role he was playing as the dragon’s head, she pursed her lips and nodded “Well you can’t be everything everyone wants you to be, you’ll tear yourself to pieces trying” she noted and nodded “Just focus on being the best you that you can be, the rest will fall into place somehow.” that’s all they could really ask of him, no one had any real clues, after all, that wasn’t Ery’s fault. “Gathering information is a good start, if we can find someone who has the tiniest clue as to who we’re up again, that puts us one step forward” and right now, that would be worth absolutely everything.

What Ery said about Vlad, she really hoped was true because the only way she was getting by right now was by thinking about what Vlad would have wanted her to do and what he would be doing if the tables were turned “You’re right, he’d want me to make sure he’s the last person that they get to hurt, he’d want everyone to be rightfully angry and reason to fight” he was always headstrong that way, the first to lead the charge into danger and she would follow him right into it every time. “Thanks for not asking me to sit back, I know that’s what a lot of people think I should do” but it wasn’t up to them to tell her how she was supposed to cope.

She looked up at him and shrugged “When I was young and had a hard day my father always used to show me how to skip rocks on the ocean” she spoke softly as she pushed to her feet “We don’t have the sea but the lake should work just fine” she nodded and started making her way towards it not looking back to see if he was following, she tipped her gaze up for a moment looking at the moon and nodded thoughtfully. At least the sky looked beautiful tonight.

Ery admired Octavia really. In the midst of everything, she sat here strong willed and ready for answers as much as the rest of them. She was the definition of a strong woman, after all the hell she had been through, he didn't even know how she was capable of waking up to a new day. "Spoken like any good mother" he smiled faintly as she mentioned her children. Ery had thought of a life once upon a time where he could grow old with someone, have children, and die with the person he fell in love with, but he didn't complain about being the Aspect of Death, nor did he regret it happening to him. Ery loved who he was, and loved being given the chance to step up and lead his people into a better life, and restoring all the things that had been broken for them all. But stepping up as ambassador, hadn't came without plenty of restless nights, and nights where he just wanted to break down because of all the weight on his shoulders. 

Octavia's words were needed so much more than she may have realized, but then a part of Ery realized that she knew how badly he needed someone to talk to, and it's likely what had led her out here to him. "Ill keep that in mind, I guess it's what makes a lot of leaders, bad leaders.. and none of you need that right now" he expressed, knowing how serious it was for him to step up and be what they all needed. Letting it go to his head, would just cause him to be a shitty leader who only seeks control and power, and that wasn't Erythreus at all. The Aspect grimaced as he peeled his gaze off of her and looked to the ground, putting a little bit of thought into her question before pressing his lips into a thin line. "Sometimes I don't deal with it. I have my moments where i lock myself in my room, and drink until I don't even know where I am. Being surrounded by death has been overwhelming, and it'll never be anything I can say i'm used too, and it's especially hard when children die.. that bothers me a lot.. but I guess it's more like I know I have to, and I know at the end of the night, im making a difference somehow" 

The Aspect had started to ramble and chuckled, "Sorry, there's just so damn much to say about that matter. There's someone dying like every second in the world, so i never get a break, but there aren't many who's asked me that question, or wanted to know how it makes me feel, so when someone does, I can speak on it for ages" he admitted, and glanced back up to her, faintly smiling. "I understand that too. I never sleep either, and the rare moments that I feel the need to rest my eyes, my thought start running wild, and just like a spring, i bounce right back up.. it's freaking inevitable." he chuckled, but really, he couldn't remember the last decent sleep he'd gotten. "Sleep seems to be a thing of the past, and seemingly, for both of us" he sighed, hating to see someone in so much pain. She did well to hide it though, and the will power and motivation to find answers was likely the one thing keeping her sane now. 

Ery joined her by the graves, tilting his head to glance at her, but frowning as he saw the pain beneath her eyes. "I think that's what has me so scared, I think you're right about whatever this is, being 10 steps ahead of us.. but none of us will give up, Vlad meant something to everyone, and especially you.. I never had many personal encounters with him, but he was still part of us.. and I would lay my life on the line for anyone of you" he expressed, knowing the Guards felt much the same about the Aspects alone, since they were the Aspects protectors, but Ery couldn't help but feel that way about them all. "I guess in a sense, that makes me a little bad for the job, but I don't imagine a good leader as one who wouldn't die for the people they love". Erythreus was much softer than some of the others, and had a habit of wearing his heart on his sleeve which usually ended up being his biggest flaw, but he wouldn't change.. not for anyone. 

"I know you would. Us Aspects are blessed to say the least, but i'm not ready to lose anymore of you" he then said as she said she'd give her life for any of them. It was part of the job, but he couldn't bare to lose another right now. Ery presented a more genuine smile after hearing her tell him he'd tear himself to pieces trying to be what everyone wanted or expected him to be, her next words being ones he hung onto tightly. He guessed for a while now, he'd been needing this.. just someone.. anyone to understand, and he was grateful that Octavia did. "I do get it though. I guess since everything that's happened, people have had to raise their expectations  a little, but I can't be wrong if im being the best version of myself, so thanks for that O" he smiled, truly appreciating her every word. 

"Exactly!" the Aspect perked up a little, because Octavia seemed to really be using her head in this. "If we can figure out who it is.. or what it is, I think that gives us the upper hand on the situation.. and from there, we develope a plan to take whoever, whatever it is out. I doubt itll be easy, whatever this is has taken one of our own from us, but he never entered my realm. I'm worried that Deus and I will soon be at odds over that fact" he expressed his concerns, because their last meeting had ended with Deus not sensing a life gone from the living, but Ery not feeling one in the realm of death. It had stunned him and Deus equally, but there seemed to be doubt nagging at each of them about the other. 

"Yes he would, I don't picture Vladimir sitting back either, so of course. I know everyone thinks you should be left out of these missions, and watched closely. I think a lot of people are waiting for you to have a nervous breakdown, in all honesty, but the one thing to push you into that more than anything, is keeping you isolated.. you deserve to fight for your husband, and you should have a place beside the rest of us.. we need to be as one at a time like this, the moment we go divided and at odds over the decisions being made, is the moment i fear most, because that's when we will cease to be fighting for the right things" 

Erythreus ranted a little, but that was his main fear right now, everyone turning on each other. The Aspect of Death got back up to his feet, and brushed his pants off from where the two of them had been sitting by the graves with their fallen Guards, and began following alongside Octavia. "There's a long story to the ocean I could tell you, maybe it'll distract you, while we skip rocks. That used to be something I did as a child as well, when I got bored enough" he smiled genuinely, and followed her gaze, but his own thoughts when looking up to the sky, consisted of ones of Vlad. He felt such a void right now, and his heart was broken to think Vladimir was just out there somewhere right now, suffering. Nothing made sense to him since Octavia had brought his ashes back to the manor, but what fucked his head up more than anything, was how he had not entered the realm. 

The lake was just beyond the manor, so it didn't take them long to get there. Erythreus leaned down, and grabbed a few skipping stones, before chucking them out into the water, smiling like a child as he watched them sail across the lake. "This is one of the places ive been to the least, I didn't realize how nice the view was out here. Glad you thought of it" he stated, giving her a genuine smile as he continued skipping rocks across the clear water in front of them. 

She shrugged a little and smiled “I think it’s a little too early to be wondering if you are a good or bad leader” she commented in an amused tone as she glanced over at him, she had faith in the aspects, despite every decision that had been made throughout her time here, she still believed in these people and their cause, that’s why she always came back here, even when her heart ached to run. Hearing him talk about his element she nodded slightly, she thought as much, he had been given one of the hardest jobs out of them all but then she supposed they had chosen him because they knew he was strong “I guess it’s not as sad as you think when you know there is a realm to go to, that death is not the end” she nodded slightly, knowing someone still had a future of some sort was a peaceful thing, even if you missed them dearly.

“Well it’s literally part of the very person you are now, I’d be worried if you had nothing to say on the matter” she commented with a playful shake of her head, though she could imagine it got pretty confusing at times, not knowing if he was communicating with someone living or dead, feeling constantly caught between worlds and she silently was thankful that she wasn’t an aspect because she wasn’t sure she could handle the responsibility. She laughed when he spoke about his lack of his sleep and how it seemed to be in both their pasts “Yeah well at least when everyone else is asleep we can get a little peace and quiet” sometimes she just needed quiet to process everything.

Talking about what was happening was both easy and hard for her, on the one side, it reminded her off Vlad and everything she had lost thus far but then also it gave her something to focus on, a goal to try and reach and while said goal was confusingly hard to reach and no doubts hidden behind many gates, that kept her moving forward “Believe me when I find out who is responsible for this, that bastard is going to wish they never laid a finger on the people I care about” her voice was sharp and she meant it, she would chase this down with everything he had. “On the contrary I think that makes you a good leader, because it means you know what lines aren’t to be crossed and you actually give a damn about the people you represent” but Octavia was also aware that he would eventually come to some conflict about what was right for the world and what his emotions wanted him to do.

She nodded slightly as her green eyes captured his gaze “They’re scared Ery, they lost half the guards, people they knew and loved” she pressed her lips together “They need someone to assure them that we have a focus, to feel like they can make some kind of difference rather than sitting and waiting for the next disaster” that’s how she felt about it all anyway and she was sure there were others who agreed. “Gathering intelligence is all we have now, usually we rely on our supernatural charms but it seems it’s time to shake things up a little and try new things” something the guard wasn’t exactly known for, they had worked a certain way for so long that the idea of change might actually be described as terrifying but where has the existing way got them? “Deus will come around, he’s passionate and full of energy, you two have conflicting personalities but both your hearts are in the right place.

“I don’t picture any guard sitting back, it’s not in our nature to back down in the face of danger” she nodded firmly but she was sure Ery knew that considering he had lived with the guards even longer than she had. She was appreciative that he was listening to what he wanted, she was sure a lot of people were waiting for her to completely fall apart but that wasn’t the type of person she was. Octavia wasn’t ever going to curl up and quit because she knew that was exactly what whoever this was wanted her to do. “I’m ready to back you up in any decision you make Ery and if you need someone to say it” she glanced at him for a moment and nodded “I believe in you” she didn’t blame the guard of aspects for what happened. She blamed herself a little but the main culprit was still out there running like a loose cannon.

She led the way over to the lake, it was dark but she could just about see what she was doing thanks to the moonlight reflecting in the water along with the lights from the manor behind her “I’ve always loved the ocean, so by all means, I’m sure both of us could use a few moments not thinking about the impending doom we face” she stared out over the lake before picking up a flat smooth stone from the shore and then she aimed it, skimming it against the water’s surface and watched as it bounced a few times “Vlad always used to come to the lake when he needed time to think and I thought I’d see why” she nodded slightly as she eyed the blond and then threw a second rock which didn’t skip and completely tanked with a splash which made her laugh “Can’t win them all” she spoke softly.

Erythreus sighed and ran a hand through his semi-long blonde mane before gazing over to Octavia. She always had a point no matter what she was talking about, so it's one of the reasons, she'd been the one Ery decided to open up to. Ery nodded at her, smiling faintly "Yes, and perhaps let that bring you a sliver of closure. I know nothing is truly going to satisfy you, at least not until we get answers, but to know there is a realm, is knowing that he's not just out there somewhere sufferig. I don't get it, why I can't feel him.. or why I didn't when everything happened, but there has to be an explanation, and we'll find it" the Aspect assured her. He didn't care what it took, he would figure this out.

Ery chuckled, "no kidding. But really. if you ever find yourself awake and need to talk late at night, you know where my room is.. I'd be happy to have a little company myself" he admitted with a shrug. Erythreus was used to dealing with his emotions alone, and dwelling on things alone, but he guessed that if he had someone to talk to when the weight of the world was burying him, that he'd be way less intense and brooding sometimes, and not feel the need to constantly drink.

The Aspect nodded, his smile fading slightly when Octavia threatened whomever was behind Vladimir's disappearance. "You're well within your rights. O. We will avenge Vlad,I promise you that, I don't know how or when, I just know that we will" he said in a reassuring tone. No matter what it took Erythreus felt as though it was his job alongside Damien's to make sure that Vladimir didn't die in vain, and Erythreus out of everyone, would be the very last to stand in Octavia's way, if anything, she needed to be right there beside them fighting this. She deserved closure, and knew she wouldn't get that until they figured out what truly happened.

Erythreus smiled "Thank you, that does mean a lot to me to at least hear one person saying it makes me a good leader. I'm almost certain the others feel the same" he stated, but sighed, a lingering sigh at that when she reminded him of something he already knew, just rather not have faced. He hated knowing the others were scared, and hated knowing how helpless and hopeless they all probably felt, and that he hadn't given them no hope through all of this so far. "I have to do better. It's true that ive only just begun, but I began at such a critical, sensitive time.. so they're gonna need me to be more than what I am right now" he shook his head, a sense of doubt washing over him, causing the Aspect to grimace.

"Thats whats scaring the life out of me, O. Is how none of us seem to be able to rely on our supernatural abilities to find him.." Erythreus pointed out with a weary gaze. "And of course. I mean i'd have to question a Guard's loyalty if they decided to just 'sit out' of this" he said, nodding at her, as he understood all too well what she was feeling. Erythreus was also the type who wouldn't let someone tell him it wasn't a good choice to be in the very center of this fight for Vladimir. A dark dangerous force was among them, and even if it meant that they all put their lives on the line, answers were needed. It just made him assume they'd lose a few more guards in this process, whats to say that whatever happened to Vladimir, won't happen to the others? And, it was a sacrifice they wre all so willing to make to make sure the Aspects were left unharmed.

Erythreus was caught off guard when OCtavia said she believed in him, but it did the trick. In that moment, Erythreus felt the most weightless he had in months now. "You have no idea how much i needed to hear that, thanks Octavia" he then said, patting her shoulder gently. "Not me, not so much" he then said, letting his intense blue optics gaze over the ocean he was petrified of, but mesmerized by all the same. "It's the one thing that ill never escape from my past with. The ocean." he said honestly, knowing it must have sounded pretty silly to her. "It's where I died, the first time at least" he frowned and hung his head low before gathering another handfull of rocks, skipping them across the water, one at a time.

Ery laughed with her when her rock sank straight to the bottom, "Gotta throw it with a little less weight behind your throw" he stated, and demonstrated how he done it himself, "and stand like this more" he added, positioning himself, and throwing another stone "Don't try so hard" he teased, watching as the rock skipped it's way all the way across the lake. "I think I get why he came here.. see what you think after we've been here for a bit though" he added, figuring if she could leave here with some peace of mind, that she'd maybe understand why Vladimir came here so often.

“Thanks” the responded to his offer to have someone to talk to when the days are bad, which was more often than not lately she found. Vlad and her had actually talked about the possibility of either of them dying in the past. It was that conversation she always went back to, the way they spoke so frankly about the fact they needed to carry on, that there was more in their lives than just each other and that they’d want one another to find happiness in whatever way it presented itself. She intended to keep her promise to him but first, she needed to know what happened, she needed closure so she could be sure he was at peace.

“It’s not just about Vlad, it’s about everyone here, I don’t believe for a second that all of this tragedy since we came to Evermore has been a coincidence” first the fall of Skye which was the single worst night of any guard’s life, seeing so many lives lost needlessly and not being able to do a single thing to stop it as a no rescue order was put out when they realized those on the Isle were being affected by some kind of outside force they couldn’t fight. Now this with Vlad “And it’s not about vengeance, it’s about justice, I want to see them pay for the pain they caused, I want to look them in the eye and see the soulless monster who would take a father from his loving family” she pressed her lips together because she could feel herself tearing up a little.

“If you dwell too much on what people think of you, you’re gonna spend more time second-guessing yourself than you will actually leading the faction” she spoke it bluntly and shrugged her shoulders slightly “Now is not the time for worrying over people’s sensitivities” it was a harsh thought but it was also incredibly true, now, more than ever, they needed to come together and put their collective thoughts together to figure out how they stopped more people from getting hurt. There were more and more reports about strange things happening in the city, no one could pinpoint the source of it or who was doing all this and people were starting to get fed up and frustrated.

“We’ve solved every mystery that’s come to us before” she responded in return, yes, it was very scary that this person was able to evade them but she definitely believed that was targeted, they were purposely working against tactics they knew they used, which meant they knew the way the Ailward faction worked. That was definitely something to explore “Maybe we need to learn to do things differently, maybe this is our kick into action to make us realize we can’t just keep doing the same thing every day and hoping it works out” she shrugged slightly, there were avenues they could go down, ones which she knew the faction might not necessarily like “We have a whole city full of people here, I know we usually keep this kind of thing close to our chests but maybe it’s time we reached further than the guard, this is the whole city at risk after all”

She smiled softly and nodded when he said he needed to hear that, she was sure it couldn’t be easy for him to take this while hitting the ground running and not become completely encased with the fear of what might happen. She parted her lips a little in surprise when he mentioned dying in water, sometimes she completely forgot that Ery was the only one of the aspects that actually died twice over and got a second chance twice. “Did someone save you after you drowned then?” there was something about the idea of drowning that terrified her because it seemed like such a helpless way to go. The body desperately trying to get air in any way possible and slowly shutting down when it can’t. He must have been so scared.

She laughed as he explained the technique behind throwing the rocks because he sounded exactly like Vlad did when he explained it to her the first time and it reminded them of the good times she’d had “Oh I know how to do it, there’s just some rocks that no matter how hard you want them to, won’t skip” which was metaphorical if you thought about it hard enough. She grinned a little as she sent another one flying across the lake with enough spin to hop over the surface a few times. “My personal peacemaker is cooking, if I’m ever stressed beyond belief, kicking everyone out of the kitchen and making whatever I want seems to help” she laughed gently.

You never have to thank me" the Aspect stated, picking at his thumbs, a nervous habit at best, but as she said it wasn't just coincedence that they'd all been through so much tragedy upon arriving to this city, goosebumps consumed the Aspect. "I think you're right. This has been the utmost tragic few years ive ever witnessed, and i personally never chalked any of it up to coincidence myself" he sighed, knowing if things got any worse, that the Ailward faction were in danger of falling apart. He wouldn't allow that to happen though, "I plan to start working more with Damien too. I think if he and I can start working together, that it will make us all even stronger as a whole" he expressed,and chewed on the inside of his jaw as his icy blue optics met the sky once more.

The Aspect frowned as he stood before her with his hands in his pockets then, as she spoke of how she wantd to look whoeveer took Vlad from her, right in the eyes. "You'll get the chance. If anyone deserves it, it's you. They will be brought to justice, I just hope we can do that before this person or .. whatever it is, is able to strike again. Their act seems so malicious and dark to me, I don't think for one second that Vlad was the end of it" he said, his tone turning to a weary one which probably matched his expression right now.

"You're right. I think there are just times a person needs to hear it said straight out like that" the Aspect said in response, "Because I won't let people's opinions about my abilities to lead the faction, cause me to be a bad leader, and end up making everything worse than it was when i first stepped up" he sighed, shaking his head. "There's a few of my own siblings / other aspects who aren't even ojn board with it. I guess i shouldn't have expected to come into this with everyone being okay with me taking over. " he grimaced, truth be told, Erythreus knew this would happen, at least with a few of the other Aspects. He had stepped up at such a intense time for everyone, that they were probably all afraid it was too much for Ery to even take on, and deal with properly.

The Aspect then smiled faintly, giving her a nod "As we will this one" he responded when she said they'd solved every other thing that was thrown their way. The next bit of words she spoke, made the Aspect widen his eyes a little, but it had been the best point anyone period had brought to him, and it was something he would definitely put into action when he could. "Well, I think this meeting we're having would be a good place to express a thought like that.. because yes, this should be taken a bit further than the Guard. If there's things happening to others within the city then you're right, the whole city's been taintd by whatever, whoever this is .. and we all need to be on the right side of things, when push comes to shove and we have to actually fight back"

Ery looked down, holding his hand out like it was a natural reflex to her question "No one was anywhere near, when I finally woke up. The sea was beautiful, and I remember how the rocks crumbled and splintered off into small pieces beneath my strength as i leaned on them to pull myself up. I had come to the horrific conlusion that the two men who were monsters was something that I had became too and for the next however many years, I roamed the lands alone.. torn from humanity by the cruelty of society. I became a ruthless animal. A shell of a man so to speak. I'll forever be grateful to Ven and the others. When they found me, I was in no way shape or form anything like a normal person so they taught me how to function as a man again. But in the end, it's probably the reason we were all exiled and executed.." he breathed out, his eyes captivated by the lake, as if he were staring into that same sea he'd died beside of. "My eating habits as a Valkyr ended up having us called abominations" he added, and skipped another stone.

The Aspect chuckled when Octavia hurled another rock, skipping it even better than he had done with his, an amused look upon his features as he watched the stone. Erythreus then gazed over at her with a look of awe "So a cooker huh? You'll have to teach me a thing or two. Truth be told, I don't even know the basics of cooking" he laughed, almost embarrased by that truth. "I guess writing my thoughts down has always helped me. It was a habit when I was forced to run from one village to the next, wipining every living soul out of existence with those monsters. The first time I wrote, it was about the little boy who looked into my eyes, beggig for his life.. and though that I couldn't kill that family with my own hands, the brothers did, and beat me to death for not doing so myself.. so the child still died.. many did"

The Aspect found himself venting, and immediately swallowed harshly, shaking his head. Sometimes it just felt good to get those moments off his chest. But he knew it would haunt him for the rest of his life

“Damien is a smart strategist, maybe give him the chance to think out of the box and see what he comes up with” was no use doing the same things over and over it seemed, they couldn’t even rely on Malva’s magic for answers right now because it was slowly withering away “I do think we need to figure out what’s happening with Mal, again on the topic of coincidences, she started losing touch with her powers just after Skye” she pursed her lips, it really felt like they were 12 steps behind right now.

“I hope so” she spoke softly and shrugged her shoulders “In fact, I have to know so because if we don’t get this guy then it really feels like it was all for nothing and I can’t stomach that” she grimaced slightly and shook her head, dwelling on the other side of the coin was only going to paralyze people and make it even harder to get back up fighting again. “Well at least you’re not hoping it will go away because I think it’s pretty evident it won’t” she sighed gently “Do you think whoever it is, just hates us or hates the supernatural as a whole” the patterns seemed to suggest the latter but it was always their people that seemed to be targeted first.

“Sorry I’m probably not doing a great job at easing your mind” she laughed softly, it was all she had been able to think about if she was honest, the first and last thought of every day was doing Vlad justice and that was what kept her getting out of bed in the morning, joining in guard activities and generally trying to hold herself together. “But it doesn’t matter who opposes what, Ven wasn’t in the right mind to lead anymore and the others didn’t rush to fill his spot so” she clicked her tongue slightly “What you did was brave and I’m sure the others know that deep down” no one wanted to be the person to blame if everything fell apart again but someone had to. “Worry about your charisma once the emergency is dissolved” he could make amends once everyone was safe. That was her priority right now too which meant she was sometimes short or blunt with people, much like tonight.

“You do realize that kind of suggestion isn’t going to go down all that well right?” she commented with raised brows, it was all well and good suggesting it but they’d gotten so used to dealing with quite literally everything alone and that mindset was going to be incredibly hard to change “It’s gonna be a pretty big blow to everyone’s pride to accept that we can’t handle this alone, that we have to handle some of the leadership over to other people” now she was okay with it because she was willing to do whatever it took to solve this but she knew others wouldn’t feel the same. “I hate that fighting is what it’s going to come to but” she shrugged slightly “Let’s just make sure we pick a battle that’s right, I get the strange things happening in the city, they’re supposed to respark the war that was erupting here before we intervened” creating distrust between factions, especially the Diviners was dangerous.

Hearing him talk about his past was saddening for her, most people in the guard and aspects had pretty rough stories, they were all people who left their previous life behind for one reason or another after all, Octavia had left her family after her sister had been taken and presumed dead because she wanted to continue the fight against the Dragonkin while her parents had been too struck with grief to continue. And in the end, she had found and been reunited with her sister, though she did feel guilty for not getting to her soon enough before she had been turned into a valkyr. “Yeah well people fear things they don’t understand and you were shown no better, the people around you all told you that you were a monster and then you wonder why you allowed yourself to seep into that mindset” it was terrifying the impact people could have on one another.

“Sometimes” she responded with a laugh “Anyone asks me to cook for the manor and I’ll deny any knowledge of using an oven” she teased it and shrugged her shoulders, she did it for fun and to test her skills but she didn’t make any promises that it would actually taste good by the end of it. “I might be able to show you a few things, it’s actually pretty fun to bring everything together piece by piece” she shrugged slightly running a hand through her blonde hair. “You know I’ve never really been a writer, guess I just wouldn’t really know what to say you know” she bit her lip when he talked about his experience with a young boy “Damn, that’s gotta be a weight” she knew Ery didn’t have the cleanest past but then did anyone? She’d killed people too after all.

“We do better to atone for the things we did in the past” she spoke encouragingly and placed a hand on his shoulder “You have to forgive yourself eventually or you really will stay stuck forever” she nodded slightly “Maybe that’s why they decided to give you one of the more difficult elements to take care of” not as punishment but as a way of making him understand.

Ery was happy to have her advice, tips, and help. He knew there was only so much she could say and do to benefit him, but it was more help than he'd had since stepping up. "Will do. I'm sure together, me and him can make this bearable for everyone. I know it must have spun everyone a little for me to step up,  at such a fucked up time" he sighed softly. It had messed him up slightly too if he was honest about it, but his heart was in it. He definitely wanted to lead his people into safety first and foremost, and after that, he'd be as good of a leader as he ws capable of being. His only hope was that they'd all acknowledge he was doing his best, no matter how much everyone hated what was going on.

Erythreus cringed. It literally made him sick to his stomach to see those that he loved, struggling so badly. Mal and him hadn't been able to spend any time together for a long while now, but he didn't love her any less. "I don't get any of it. Not knowing is what's making everyone and everything so tense. I think if any of us had the slightest clue why none of our abilities were working, then we'd have already gotten somewhere.. but yeah I do agree that Malva's magic being tampered with just after Skye, should be the first thing we look into. I'll mention it to the rest actually, unless they've already spoken of it" he stated, and gave her a sad glance. He was sure anyone who looked at him, could see sorrow in his features, and as much as he wanted to hide it, that was easier said than done, as much as it was for her. She was strong, Octavia was, but he could see the pain in her eyes, and how badly she just wanted to break down at times.

"I get that, because I feel like I have to know as well. Wishing for all this to go away, would only make it worse i'm afraid, so nah, ive not for one second wished it would go away. We have to take action" he expressed. He was thankful that she noticed things like that about him, because he'd been spending a lot of time lately, doubting himself, because everyone else seemed to as well, except for Octavia. "Honestly.." he grimaced as he looked to the floor. "I think it might be something against our faction, both of those statements would make sense, but we were sent here to make it a better place, to make sure the supernatural can co-exist with humans, and so on.. whoever is doing this, probably don't want that at all, so if it is that they hate the supernatura, that would make us the most hated, because i feel like we're kind of at the top of the pyrimid when it comes to being supernatural. We were something else before we were Aspects" he hoped his explanation made sense, as jumbled up as it seemed to sound coming out into actual words. "I just feel like whatever, whoever's doing this, would see us as the biggest issue"

The Aspect chuckled and patted her shoulder "You're good. I think it's doing us both a little good, to just be able to be completely honest about what's been bothering us.. you can talk about whatever you need to, especially if it helps" he smiled genuinely before averting hi gaze to stare out into the water as she commented on how Ery basically had been the better choice to lead, "Well, when you put it like that, you're absolutely right. Definitely didn't find anyone else who jumped up to say ;hey ill do it; he chuckled, and shrugged a little, but it was the truth. While it had been a bold, and unexpected move on his part, it had been one he felt was right. He didn't regret being the one at all. "What are your thoughts? Do you think this person or thing.. is just someone who hates us?" he asked, because he enjoyed her input. So far it had helped him a lot.

Erythreus ran his hands over his face and sighed, hanging his head down for a moment, and rubbing the back of his neck "I know that, trust me.. it scares me to even think about mentioning to those who've always done everything alone, or as a faction at least, that we need more than just us.. hell it bothers me even, maybe I can let it go for now , because they're dealing with enough bombs being dropped in their laps.. but it does me a little good that at least you realize we need more help" he frowned. He knew what she was saying, and it would break all of their pride, he agreed. Erythreus didn't wanna add anymore hurt to their never ending piles either, but he knew it fell in his hands the moment he stepped up to be their leader. "It makes me wonder just how bad things were before we came here" he stated, more so thinking out loud, but it was a legit thought.

"I hate it too, O. Honestly, I wish there could be a world, a place that existed without need for war, but I know thats not practical" he said in a saddened tone. If there were to be a world without war, then there would surely be other issues, it was just the Ailwards job to ensure peace, but how could they? He guessed they were all doing the best that they could. "We all went through hell, I just happen to live in mine still, I guess it's safe for me to admit ive never, and maybe will never move on" he shook his head, disappointed in that statement, but there was only so much trauma a man could go through, before it wounded him for good. "Libving like I was no better than an animal, has been a rough thing to break away from. But, when Ven found me, he taught me how to function like a normal man again, they all did... you've all been so great, and ill never be able to thank you enough for being the family I longed for. I miss my parents" he admitted for the first time in his life. No one had ever heard that statement from Erythreus before now. Not even Serena, who no longer remained in the city, but someone he had shown the darkest parts of himself too. "I really miss them" he repeated. It seemed that admitting it, made him realize it.

He guessed he wasn't aware that he had even missed his parents until now. And, it hit him like a ton of bricks. Swallowing harshly, Ery began skipping stones across the water, one after another, roughly slinging them, as if he were putting his anger into each stone he tossed. He had amazing parents, and the fact that they loved him too much, caused a rebllious streak that he paid for, for the rest of his life. "You're right. But I also fear what I do understand, I would have been better off never realizing how much I missed them. I think it's what messes us all up, is when we come to grips with what we didn't understand, because sometimes those revelations bring us more pain" he shrugged, chuckling a little, because he had taken that statement and ran two different directions with it. "Sorry. I get what you're saying, i'm just terrible at conversation when I get to thinking about something. I think that we were all living pretty roughly though, so I know i'm not alone" he added, and offered a faint smile.

"It's a date" he nodded, giving a playful wink. He enjoyed Octavia's presence so it excited him to know she was willing to help him as far as cooking lessons went. There was so much he felt that e didn't know. Things that made him feel pretty out of the loop, and definitely unprepared for relationships and such. "At the very least, you may save me from making a fool of myself if things pan out with a certain blonde" he grimaced though, because every time he had tried, he'd been heart broken, and he'd be damned if he felt that way one more time in his life. It would likely make someone as broody and emotional as Erythreus, to shut himself down to the idea of love forever.

"Oh it's a weight. There's not a moment that i'm able to close my eyes without seeing the children's faces that were murdered gruesomely by either myself, or the two that I was forced to travel with. I'm scared that i'll never move on, that ill be forever crippled to the evil that they bestowed upon me and dozens of other innocents" he gulped, the lump in his throat causing a sharp pain to linger as he tried to drift away from those thoughts for the rest of this evening. He knew how he could get when he got to thinking about those children and women. He tended to bring down anyones mood when he got in his feelings. When she said they did better to atone for  what they did in their past, Ery shrugged "I need to make amends for some things still yet, but yeah, in all, I think we do pretty damn good" he smiled a little, and glanced down to the stones that had left an impression in his hand, where he'd been gripping so hard, when talking about those children who didn't deserve to die.

The Aspect glanced to her hand, then to her, smiling a little more genuinely "thanks Octavia, I really don't think anyone cold have talked to me this way but you" he chuckled "I don't know how you do it, but you're dealing with probably the moodiest, most emotional Ailward of them all, and somehow you've got me laughing about things" he said truthfully, with a shocked expression. She definitely helped him in ways not many could. And for that, he really appreciated her. "I really feel like it is. Becoming the Aspect of Death, used to seem like a punishment when I looked to the others and what they  were given. But now, I get it. I don't think anyone else would have been right for it" he nodded, smiling faintly. He was thankful to have been shown a positive side of things, especially to the things he had been feeling so weighed down by lately.

Reaching into his pocket, Ery pulled out a coin, it was an old one, and he never went a moment without it, but he knew someone who could use it more than him, and with that, he handed it to Octavia. "I don't believe in good luck or bad luck. We make our own luck, at least in my opinion, but ive had this for years and years, I just feel like you should have it right now" he stated and while it may not have been the grandest gesture, he knew she was suffering more than anyone right now, and if he could be part of anything that cheered her up, then he'd feel like he was doing something right foe now.

At first it had felt like a very targeted attack against Ailward kind, first Skye, then picking off some of those who went out on missions but if someone wanted the Ailward faction dead then she was sure they had enough power to take down the Ailward manor and take people with them so she couldn’t believe the endgame ended with them “If they were specifically against us I feel like they would have shown themselves by now, if it was about a personal attack, how would they resist facing the people they felt wronged them” which made her believe it must be something bigger than them. “But seeing us as a barrier to their final goal, that I could believe” Skye had been the first evidenced attack and it took out their forces in one swoop leaving them open and vulnerable. “Honestly it feels bigger than us to me” she responded to his question “I think it might even be bigger than this city” which was a terrifying thought because if it wasn’t just Evermore it could well be the whole world.

“At this rate even all the help there is in the city might not be enough” they weren’t the only ones who had suffered blows and honestly, she felt like whoever was responsible for all this was toying with them and leaving small clues here and there but never enough to reveal themselves, only to create a sense of dread over their heads “The city was at war before we came here, which meant you wouldn’t have gotten a single soul to work together, if the city was still like that, I imagine we’d be six feet under already” it was a pessimistic statement but she recognized the dire state they were in very clearly, had done ever since she had lost her husband to it.”The thing I don’t get is why anyone would want to do this, Evermore is at peace, people are free to build lives and get jobs and generally be happy, what would motivate someone to want to damage that?” something very dark and twisted she was sure which was probably what scared her most about all this.

Octavia had listened to him when he spoke about his past because she knew the topic came up so rarely and she couldn't blame him for wanting to keep it buried considering it wasn’t pretty or easy to remember she was sure “I miss mine too” she responded and nodded her head “After Aurelia was taken my parents just kinda fell into a comatose like state, they couldn’t go on” she pursed her lips and sighed “And she could never go back and I couldn’t face them knowing what secret I’d have to keep from them” it was hard to make that call but it was what was best and while it hurt like hell, she had coped. She saw the way his throws got more and more aggressive, the stones sinking straight into the water rather than skipping because of the sheer force, when he apologized she shrugged slightly “People keep telling me that feeling isn’t a bad thing and that somehow it makes us stronger” it wasn’t what she had wanted to hear at the time but now she understood it and in a way, she realized she needed to hear it.

“A certain blonde huh?” she commented with a curious grin turning her head towards him as she wanted to see his expression that moment “Has someone managed to sweep the Aspect of Death off his feet?” now this definitely had her curious because while she knew he’d had a few lovers through his years, all of them seemed more out of convenience than feelings. Though she had noted Ery had a thing for blondes. “You going to impress her with your mad cooking skills huh?” well he didn’t have those yet but she was sure she’d be happy to help him learn to make something decent at least. She had to resist the urge to shudder when he spoke about what happened in his past and how he had pretty much lost his own humanity, she knew the case of Valkyr becoming Vampires well and very rarely were they able to be saved the way that Ery was, most of the time they were too far gone for help. “It’s painful I know but look what you did with your chance to atone and even if you spend forever making it right, you have to remember that wasn’t the person you are now” Vampires were essentially soulless monsters, it was a wonder he came out with any sympathy intact at all.

She gave him a slightly sad smile when he thanked her for her time and understanding, she had always been the motherly figure of the Ailward Guard and often it would be difficult to guess who was older, her or the aspects. She did her best to be there for everyone as best she could, though she’d be lying if she said it wasn’t hard now that Vlad was gone and a piece of her felt like it went with him. “I think in a crazy way that everything happens for a reason” she spoke it softly, he was the Aspect of Death which meant he constantly had to see those who passed but then he also got to provide comfort to them in the scariest moments they experienced no doubts and she was sure there was reward in that. She watched him as he pulled the coin from his pocket, it’s worn and dusty surface still managing to shine just a little in the moonlight. She was surprised when he placed it into her hand and she closed her fist around it for a moment before opening it again to study it “Thanks” she spoke softly “I think I could use a lot of luck right now” she admitted with a slight smile and tucked it into her pocket.

“What do you think you would have done with your life if you were born ordinary in this modern era?” she questioned thoughtfully, they were so old that sometimes everything felt out of touch to her but there were so many jobs now that wouldn’t have even been a passing thought back then and it kinda fascinated her.

Ery could feel the same things Octavia did. If this problem was bigger than them, than how much help could possibly be enough? "I don't know, but it'll boil down to the point where we all have to forward the motion of defending this city, and all who reside in it." he swallowed a little roughly, because that meant making peace with the Celestials too. No one needed to be on opposite sides if their city was under attack, and he knew he was only one man. A leader yes, because he  didn't doubt his ability in being a good ambassador, but he was still just one among many who may not see things the same as him.

Octavia had some very strong views about what was happening to them. Things she was saying, truly made Erythreus think, and that's the kind of company he preferred at a time like this, someone who would make him think about all possibilities, rather than drowning himself in booze and partying , where his mind was never on but one thing. "I really don't know about motive. Right now it just feels like someone or something crazed, longing to be the most powerful being in this city. Maybe it's something / someone who wants that power over a city like this, because this is a city full of very powerful supernaturals. It still don't make sense to interrupt the peace that we all had, but it's all I can think of from the top of my head. Going any deeper in thought about the 'why's' is just painful" he admitted with a chuckle. The Aspect sighed. He knew he'd never be able to give full answers, and maybe not even relevant ones. All he could do is give his truest thoughts and hope to be of use to his faction the days they needed him most.

"I mean, I can't even imagine this being someone wanting revenge. Because that's a hell of a lot of revenge, considering everything that has already happened" the Aspect grimaced, because Vlad didn't deserve to die the way he had. He hadn't came back from the pile of ashes he was meant to rise from, so it was safe to say he was dead now. Erythreus just refused to say it out loud when Octavia was near. Ery gazed to her from the corner of his eye as he continued throwing rocks. Because at this point, he recognized he'd let his anger get the best of him. Her brief story about her own parents made the Aspect frown, but he couldn't help but feel some sort of relief to know he wasn't the only person here missing their parents. It felt like there'd been so much time past, since he'd last seen them, that it was silly to still miss them. "That must have been hard to watch" he expressed, not knowing how it felt to go from a set of loving parents one day, to a set of parents in a zombie like state the next. Some people truly did die on the inside when trauma hit them hard enough, and from the sounds of it, that's exactly what had happened to Octavia's parents. While alive and breathing, on the outside they appeared to be nothing more than a shell of what they once were. Erythreus could relate to that, because he had once been that himself.

"I'm not sure about stronger, because sometimes allowing yourself to feel certain things can absolutely make you feel paralyzed, but it certainly does make us wiser" he shrugged, maybe it was only opinion rather than a fact, but after all, Erythreus was much more wiser than he'd once been. Ery chuckled and gave a sheepish grin when she commented on the certain blonde he had mentioned "Round three, let's hope that whole 'third time is the charm' saying goes to my advantage" he smiled, and shrugged a little. He figured everyone had caught on to the fact that he seemingly only went for blondes, but, it wasn't that they were the only beings he connected with, it had just so happened that the past  three so far had been blonde. He could remember a point in time where he and Riana Sterling were hitting it off quite well.

When Octavia commented on his cooking skills, the Aspect bursted out laughing. It felt good to laugh when it was genuine."I'll be sure to send you the report when the firefighters come extinguish my attempt at cooking" he joked, because surely his first meal would be better than him burning the place down. He was kinda excited in knowing Octavia would help him. Maybe it would add some flare to his charm, and he would surely win a little more of Sofi over. A man could hope anyways. The comment she made about what he had done with his second chance made the Aspect sigh. "It's funny how that all worked out"  he started, and gazed up to the sky with his hands tucked into his pockets. He figured he had furiously thrown enough rocks by now. "I mean as a Vampire, we're empty shells of what we used to be. One without the ability to feel at all. And here I stand, probably the biggest hopeless romantic in the manor, and one of the softest members of this faction. I escaped that mess with my humanity in over drive i guess." he admitted, chuckling some. He supposed it was him making up for so much time he had spent being so hollow on the inside. 

Erythreus was happy to have made her smile, even if he knew she wouldn't wear it for long, it looked nice on someone who had been so broken lately. "You're welcome. It is the season of giving" he smiled warmly before gazing over to the manor "I wonder what they're all up to when it's that quiet" he mused, chuckling a little. Ery's eyes widened at the thought of even being born in this era "Oh boy" he started out, before looking over to her amused "I nearly crashed a computer in the library, and didn't know how to activate a cell phone for my own personal use. I can't imagine being born into an era where  I actually know how to use all this modern day technology. But, I totally see myself being a business man, with the fancy cigars, fancy suits and brief cases, and a collection of fancy women too" he quipped, and shrugged slightly "As much as I like the outdoors though, like the forest, the woods etc .. I see myself as a lumber jack had i been born into this era, and not the one that intitally landed me in the Aspect of Death's duties" he chuckled.

"What about you? I'm sure you had some dreams before life made it's own path for you" he added, curious of what her dreams may of been before she joined the guard. "It's such a silly question and maybe even a hard one to answer now, but do you have a New Years resolution?" he finished off, giving a faint smile, wondering if people actually did that, set a goal for themselves to quit something or start something for the new year, to better themselves one way or another.

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