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It’s been a while since Malva’s gotten herself any amount of decent sleep for the past few weeks now and she had no idea why she couldn’t even do a simple thing such as closing her eyes and drift off to dreamland. As if things like that were ever going to be easy for her. But then again, this wasn’t a new thing to her, as it wasn’t entirely a foreign concept for the Aspect of Magic. Insomnia runs deep in the family. Especially given their particular duties. Running her fingers through her now lighter shade of color hair, Malva got up from her bed and made herself more comfortable against the headboard as she lets out a heaved sigh. There was something that she has been in the works of for the past few weeks, ever since her meeting with the Wayfinder, Ophelia. Clearly after their rendezvous, she was bothered by something.
Placing her hand on the comforter that was covering herself from waist down, the grip on it tightens as she closed her eyes for a brief while. It didn’t last as long as she wished, when she felt compelled to flutter her eyes open back again. She was sure it didn’t even last more than 5 seconds, which was at least a quarter of the moment she wished to get. “This is stupid, why are you even doing this in the first place. Get a hold of yourself, Malva Irina Aeliseia Arguarde.” It was simple reminder she held on for centuries long, which was calling out her full name. The name she vowed to forget as she moved ahead in her life after she was resurrected as an Aspect. But it was her identity, and in times like these where she was going through identity crisis, she needed it. Besides, it wasn’t like forgetting who you were would be as easy as it was said. Easier said than done, isn’t it.
Mal pushed the comforter off her as she made her bed neatly, transferring what was left of her consciousness back in her body. She knew it better than most, how bottling and keeping it down instead of releasing or resolving it was a very bad choice to go with. Given her duties, and this, at the moment, she was puzzled and confused on how to manage everything. When she can’t even manage her own self. She was sure the people around her noticed how distant she was becoming as each day passes and whilst it wasn’t something new for them, especially her family of faction, it was becoming worse, to the point she requested not to be bothered by anything or anyone for a while. Fortunately, most knew better than to push the purple dragon to the edge. Her temper wasn’t something to be tampered with, anyways.
The Russian born woman changed into something more comfortable, suiting her need to get physical at the training room by the basement downstairs. Mal tied her now longer hair into a ponytail after braiding it slightly. At least, she still remembered her traditional roots by the looks of the variety of braids she always wore on herself. Zipping up the jacket to her chest level, she grabbed her ruby pendant from the drawer, the one she’s been keeping away from herself for almost two months. Considering how the necklace was basically used to absorb all the dark magic in so it would not tamper with herself whenever she needed to work her magic, it was more than enough of a reason for it to be kept away unless she needed it. Which she doubted fully, since things were looking well and she was sure the Celestials knew better than to charge at them now. After clasping the pendant around her neck, she watched as it pulses a bit before closing and locking her door as she made her way to the basement. It wasn’t long after she arrived there and Malva being Malva, knew it was during a time where the guards would not really use the training room. She could be wrong but it wasn’t enough to convince the Aspect of Magic to get back.
She eyed the array of knives heavily and neatly stocked on the cabinet as she took one box out and placed it on the metal table. She has always had the fascination on sharp things ever since she was a child, and if she had to choose a weapon, it would always be the ones with sharp ends, may it be knives or swords. Given her nimble self, she often opted with knives, daggers or short swords. She knew she liked the knives better because her interest went more forward towards sense of accuracy. Taking one in her hand, she twirled it around for a good measure of the weight and it feels as if all the attention was placed in another world. Enough for her not to notice another presence.
Life had gotten crazier over the past few months, the wedding buzz still going strong. He was a married man to the most beautiful woman in the world and couldn’t be happier. Part of the honeymoon period as people call it since they calculating didn’t go on a proper honeymoon. Their married was quite low key in terms of weddings. Not going all out for a big and expensive wedding. It was the opposite. Running off and eloping. Just the two of them and their french bulldog Winston. Coming back their pair of them weren’t shy to tell people that they had gotten married without anyone knowing. Everyone was happy for them maybe not so for Illiana’s close family as none of them were invited whilst he family understood why they chose the easier path. Draco was accepted into the big whole Aliward family more so that he was married. Malva would always say to him that he was practically family now so he was so. Married to the commander of the Aliward. He didn’t let it affect his work life, still acting profession when at work on duty. It was easier as he spent more time working as Cornelia’s assistant rather than an Aliward Guard.
Looking at the clock next to his bed checking the time he knew it was time to get up. Knowing that Illiana weren’t there in the bed beside him, Draco knew she always was up early and headed to work way before him. To get an hour in the training room to work out of train before everyone comes in. Draco knew her routine, having a more laid back one himself. Just his job in the morning was to feed the animals and take the dogs out for a walk and that was it. After Draco did that it was time to go and get properly ready choosing to change in his typical outfit he normally wore outside of his assistant job. Just a plain black t-shirt, jeans shoes. Illiana always moaned to him how basic his choices were but it just was how laid back he was and that he had no sense of style unless things were bought for him.
Today he had organised well it was more so Malva had organised it. He was just told the place and time. Since apparently she was dying to finally give him some proper training as he was quite inexperienced in the field of being an Aliward Guard to say so the least. Why not learn from one of best. One thing he did hope was that their was no portolling involved this time. He felt sick even thinking about it. Him and portolling wasn’t a good match. Preferring flying a lot more than being dragged through a portal to go knows anywhere. It was like being dragged through another dimension, giving a weird feeling in his head and stomach. So hopefully Malva knew from last time to have somewhere in the city as the destination for the day instead.
Draco headed out choosing to take Winston with him so he could simply drop him by Illiana’s office before meeting Malva. Both him and Illiana tended to always make sure not to leave Winston their french bulldog alone all day at home. Maybe they babied him too much but too it’s known that french bulldogs and pugs don’t cope well with being left for long periods of time on their own. Winston would cry loud or nearly trash the place. So he goes whether one of them goes, which they don’t mind. The only annoying thing is that he always wants to be carried everywhere. Draco picked up Winston, grabbing his keys, wallet and phone too he head out of the car. Unlocking in he opened the door he put Winston on the passenger seat beside him. Putting on the dog seat belt they had for him before putting on his own.
Starting up the engine Draco started to drive off decided to take a bit of detore before heading to the manor. Although it was for a good reason so Malva wouldn’t be too annoyed he would be late. The detour lead to his nearby starbucks. Everyone needs their fuel of caffeine to start off the day. Parking up outside he went inside ordering himself a latte whilst choosing for Malva a plain black large coffee. Knowing that Americans love their black coffees rather than more so all the fancy ones. It weren’t too long till he had his order buying some snacks too that he probably didn’t need to get just did for the sake of it. Heading back to his car with his coffee and what not he head to the Aliward Manor seeing that he would already be late.
Arriving at the manor he parked up and headed to Illiana’s office first to drop off Winston before heading to where the training room was. At the basement. One of the places he went to least often which was bad considering. Draco have had training but not really from anyone here at the Aliward Manor as Cornelia took it upon herself to give him some training. As she had noticed how his fitness levels were very bad when he first started his job working with her. He just had to mix his training with her with the combat training the the guards have. Already able to spot Malva there playing with a knife blade. It seemed she was in a trance almost. Too engrossed with the power and the dimensions of the blade to notice her surroundings “Be careful those are sharp” He mused joking to the Aspect as he stood there at the doorway with his hands full of coffee and hot snacks, waiting for Malva to snap out and notice that he was there. “Sorry I’m late but I go good reason this time” He added since he bit known he was chronically late to everything. He couldn’t help him, it was life always wanted him to be late.
Draco was not wrong in any sense of saying she was literally out of it. Because truly, she did not notice any other presence with the exception of her, in the room. That is one disadvantage that might take her up one of these days, considering being in a trance and looking so out of it has become Malva’s new thing. As if she ever had a ‘thing’ to even begin with. Hearing the distinctive voice coming from the foot of the entrance door, she turned around, facing the male phoenix who had his hands quite full. She averted her eyes from him and to the clock that was hung across the room, before clicking her tongue in annoyance, obviously feigning it. She might not be a fan of tardiness by a mile, but she learned not to mind much of it when it comes to him. Okay, let’s not tell the firebird that the Aspect of Magic found delight in his company. Not that she will let herself speak about it. Ever.
Still twirling the blade in her grasps, she leaned against the table for a short measure before slightly tilting her head to the side. When he talked of how sharp the knife was, Malva being Malva would retort back sarcastically. “I can see that. Why else do you think I would play with it.” She shrugged before placing the sharp little thing back into its collection and stared at the coffee he had in his hands. “Though I am pretty sure, the most dangerous thing in the room wouldn’t be the weapons stacked up here. But- we both know that.” Aligning herself with a teasing smile, she beckoned for him to make himself more comfortable. “I’m sure this is not your first time venturing down here. Even if it was, I would spare both of us the odd introductions that will probably land itself nowhere in your head. I’ll start off by telling you the ‘rules and regulations’. My rules are simple. Do not, under any circumstances, speak of my personal issues. I guess in a way, I saw a lot trying to get me off and antagonize me by poking into it. I don’t tolerate it.”
Then again, was that rule really something surprising? She was sure, everyone knew the Russian born woman did not have the best tolerance when it comes to patience and temper. “Other than that, I’m pretty much fine. I am not the best when it comes to physical wise, because I literally lean more towards the mental. But Aureus told us before, that one day we might not have the guards to protect us so we had to at least know how to defend ourselves, considering we’re not the most likable bunch of people to go around. So to say I could defend myself, is a go point. Don’t expect me to go full on you of course, if you needed that, maybe you could ask Illi or Tati. Maybe even Reus.” She exclaimed, reminding him that she wasn’t really a physical person at all. The only reason why she picked it up in the first place, was because of her eldest brother. “I’m guessing the reason why you’re late is because you took a detour. But there might be more from where that came from, so I wouldn’t bother asking. Just make sure not to make it habitual, Draco. People might think I’m being soft just because I’m being lenient on you.” The dragon narrowed her blue hues at the dark haired male. Well, he was more of a family member than he was before now that he’s married to Illiana.
“I heard you’re Cornelia’s assistant. Do you have any preferable weapon?”
Hoping that he’ll sneak in like he weren't late at all. It’s worked most times at work when he’d wake up late or get stuck in rush hour before on the coffee run in the mornings. Maybe Malva wouldn’t even notice? Now thinking maybe not since Malva was over a thousand years old she weren’t dumb well not in everything if your counting. Probably next time he’ll be here on time but who knows since he was known being late. But who's counting? Walking into the training room he spotted Malva at the weapons table. It seemed she was almost in a trance, staring at the blade of a dagger. Waiting to be snapped out of it in a way. His arrival doing the job. Seeing as Malva snapped out of it seeing him standing at the doorway, his hands full of drinks and food. “I get hungry training?” He mused with a chuckle hoping to use it as an alibi but it didn’t work seeing Malva eyes go to the clock and back to him. “Shoot” He muttered under his breath, he was caught out. Walking over to her he picked out Malva’s coffee, handing it to her. “Coffee?” Offering it to her as a peace offering.
Draco choose to put down the coffee and food, thinking it would be best idea getting to the actually training. Rather than to be distracted by his breakfast. Hearing her talk about what is most dangerous in the room made a smirk appear on his lips to her comment. “That I can set myself on fire like it’s air and you can turn into a massive dragon” He remarked raising a brow to the Aspect of Magic matching her teasing smile. “Sometimes Illiana brings me down here for some training but I’m guessing this time it’ll be quite… different” He pointed out looking to Malva before becoming more serious knowing that it was a lesson and not another trip to spend most of the time having banter with each other. “Right, but I’m still allowed to annoy you outside of training?” Asking, clarifying almost. Draco could understand why Malva didn’t want him to try to dig into her, prying into her own personal problems. As this training was more of a mental side rather than physic. It would be the same for him really, everyone has their own personal boundaries.
Hoping that Malva wouldn’t find out the secret he’d been hiding, since it was personal to both him and Illiana. Not wanting anyone to find out right away about the new arrival. Choosing to wait for a month or two more but will Malva be able to read him like a book? Finding out that he’s hiding something? Draco would just to wait and see. “I’m trying to get more better at the physical side, I’ve been told be some people that I’m a bit out of shape” To say the least. On basically his first day starting his new job Cornelia had noticed how he was out of breath walking up the flights of stairs at work. Ordering him to start some training with her, to cut out on ‘eating junk’, he had been following her orders. Eating cleaner and trying to get in better shape. “Probably Illiana and Tatiana” Nodding his head, afreeing with her. “I’ll try to be better with my timinings next time” He noted, promising almost to work on his tardiness. Knowing that in some months time it’ll all be out of the window. “Thats right” He chimed in to Malva’s question that he was Cornelia’s assistant that he is. “I like to use guns, I’m quite good with target practice” Advancing his skills slowly but surely, knowing that guns is the easier kind of weapon to defend yourself with. Not yet adjusted to using a sword or daggers instead. He weren’t too bad at archery either.
Malva could never say no to coffee, obviously. Somehow, everyone probably knew that the Ailwards were always on coffee adrenaline. They had a lot of them stocked up in the kitchen. She remembered how much they dreaded the day the coffee went poof because it was finally finished and one of them needed to do the grocery shopping. Besides, despite her insomnia, Mal was hooked on coffee as if it was her IV bag, which was quite ironic, considering her former profession being a doctor. Speaking of, she wondered how her hiatus went off towards others in the hospital. She left saying she was departed to another department across the globe, which was a total lie. She didn't have the time to tend on her patients and give them her consultation when she had more to settle for as an Ailward Aspect.
Rolling her eyes at the Phoenix male, she shook her head slightly. "Bold of you to assume you haven't done a perfectly good job at annoying me naturally, Draco." Seeing from the looks of her tone, that came off as a friendly one. It wasn't weird considering that the two hit off pretty well and she was glad Illiana found someone worthy of her. Draco was a fresh company she intends to keep for more years to come, hopefully. If nothing happens to her and she managed to score yet another long life. When Draco said he was opting more on the physical side, she could only shrug as she circled him around the mat casually like a semi predator stalking its prey. However, she was very calm at it. "You should always be prepared on both. Mentally, you're just preventing yourself from others' influences, but I made sure the mark every guard had was potent enough to deflect every magical properties. Unless altered, of course. You never know, sometimes witches and wizards alike, they like to get creative." She reprimanded, knowing fully well how it goes over there.
"I wonder if you're more to an offense or defense player. Guns are alright, when you have a good accuracy, same goes for knives. However, if your bullets are used up and you have no ammo, or if your knives are all out, I wonder what would happen then. We tend to make the best out of our guards and we take immense pride in it. Just look at Illi and Tati. Despite some of us being more advantageous in the magical way, we made sure to utilize both sides. I don't use them much, since Tati usually does it for me, but I can definitely throw a mean hit your way. I don't prefer them, too much work." She didn't want to make it so serious, hence, the friendly tone in her teasing. "My duty is more on making sure you can anticipate your opponent's movement by reading them. It's absurdly hard at first but you'll get a hold of it. Other than that, you need to be able to calculate their moves and lay out every possibilities the outcome will be." Without giving a warning, she threw a sharp knife-like weapon his way that graced his arm a bit.
"Which means, focus is the key."
Coffee was everybody’s weakness. Fuelling the start of each person's day as part of their diet. In Italy, espressos was everyone's favourite. A strong shot of coffee to keep anyone awake. It’s known for people in Italy to have around 7 to 8 cups of coffee each day, mostly all being esporros.s Whilst Draco wasn’t that bad he still loved his coffee. Trying to fit in having one each morning. Able to sense that coffee was one of Malva’s weaknesses. As each time he goes over to the Aliward Manor the kitchen cupboards are always stocked up with coffee so that it never runs out. “Coffee a day keeps the doctor away” He mused making up his own logic but knew she’d understand what he means. Trying to sway her away from the fact that he was late because he choose to stop for coffee when he knew he was short on time in the first place.
The two of them had already started to form some sort of friendship, even tho the two of them wouldn’t like to admit it. Part of it was making sure to annoy Malva at every chance he could get. Draco knew she wouldn’t be offended by what he says on the plus side she couldn’t try to hurt him since of his relationship to Illiana was. So he knew he was safe enough to annoy Malva as much as he liked. As he knew that there was times when Malva was a stick-in-the-mud, all serious and aspect like. So he tried to annoy her to make her relax. Polar opposites to each other. “Annoying people is part of who I am, as you already know” He added onto her comment. “If not life would be boring” He chimed in before knowing that now it was time to get to the training part. Time for him to take things more serious. Listening in as Malva was starting to fill him in with what was common knowledge to know about before starting this type of training. “To know how and when to combine both things into one” So you can have an advantage along with able to know how to protect yourself and others for what is coming or thrown at you on missions or in different circumstances that may arise.
Draco didn’t know whether he was more of an offensive or dense player as Malva was saying, but soon would be finding out in the training. “I think it might be quite a while till up to their level” He mused, compared to a lot of the Aliward Guard he was one of the youngest and inexperienced. As many people have been part of the guard for the majority of their lives like Illiana, Tatiana along with the aspect, whereas he still have yet to turn on his immortality. Still aging like normal. Thinking that too Illiana may want to pause on her immortality. With the pending arrival, not wanting to seem like a pair of teenagers looking after a teen in the future. It’ll be something that will come up in conversation in the future for them decide on. “Then I’ll just have to learn how to block your hit” He interjected, having heard that some of the aspects know how to throw a punch. Not wanting to be on the other end of it. “I think it might time some time for me to learn it but i want to learn. I want to be a better guard member and fighter” Draco too wanted to be able to protect his wife and child from harm. Protecting his family. Unknowingly to everyone else. As she said ‘focus is the key’ he knew he’d be the first to fail at the first step. “You know I’m bad at losing focus right” His attention spam wasn’t the best, getting easily distracted by everything.
Her ears perked up at the sudden mention on coffee. Malva knew the whole family practically run on coffee because it was somewhat the only thing that serves as their salvation to save them off their slightly deprived state most of the time. "Don't you mean an apple a day keeps the doctor away? What good does the coffee does for the said inhabitant. Unless it's fully organic..now then it probably has a string up for innumerable health benefits." She retorted as she placed the coffee aside and stood her ground before meeting Draco's blue hues with her own. She wasn't tall unfortunately, standing at only 5'6", which should honestly be the average height for female.
"Well Draco, you could consider yourself lucky one of these days because back then, if anyone had so much trigger or annoy my side, they end up spending at least 24 hours of their day as a rodent. Or hexed with mild one that doesn't occur a frown over side effects. So I'd say you're pretty lucky on it. I turned my own younger brother into one more times than I could bother to remember, so you're not so special." The slightly flaxen haired Aspect of Magic jested, a grin could be seen making its way up to her features slowly. She remembered those days. She was quite known to others because of her temperament because most of the time, she's unpredictable. Much like the element she wields. One day, she's been basking under the light and the next, she could be pulling strings from the down world just because she's 'bored'.
"You could certainly try." She noted on the stance he was keeping on trying to block her hit. "However, it won't do much well if you only kept evading and deflecting it. The element of surprise plays a critical and huge part most of the time on engaging, Draco. That was the moment of being creative. So that it works out for you. With that being said, you should try to come up with something no one would expect from you. A move out of nowhere. It will serve you justice. At least- most of the time. Depending on the circumstances." It warms her heart secretly to hear the young Phoenix being so determined and she always favored passion above everything else since it was the only thing that could someone going. "It's always good to always learn. Knowledge is a powerful tool, after all." The Russian born Aspect affirmed gently. "Well, your focus needs to improve, firebird. That was a slight cut I made on you which no doubt will heal. But if I was throwing with the aim to kill? What happens next? Of course- I could never do that. I'm not supposed to kill." The last statement wasn't really helping.
"Don't worry, you'll work your way around it. Just keep that passion of yours riled up and ready at all times. It's more powerful than you think. The will."