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Perhaps she was thinking too much on this. Malva found herself staring at the painting hung across her room, sighing softly to herself as she launched herself against the pillows stacked on her bed. The family portrait had been there for awhile, ever since they made this place their home, to be exact. It was the 8 of them, in Marseilles and it was over 400 years old. For people who almost never stepped one foot outside the Isle, Malva recalled this was one of the only times she was given the chance to scour an entire city for one night. It was a rare case to have the Ailwards out and about, especially when they cannot move around individually for long without slowly deteriorating. It was also the proof of them being a family, once upon a time. It wasn't as if they were no longer a family, but they've been very distant as of late and Malva could feel herself feeling out of it.
The only times they would ever gather together were during meetings and she was sure her brother tried his best not to call them every week or month. It made her wonder if her family were no longer the family they once were. It didn't help that she had been trying to get away from them either, but after what has happened with her connection to magic, she didn't know what else to do. Octavia remained her only confidant and one of the ones she wouldn't toss an object to, every time people attempt to enter her room. The crumpled papers surrounding her bed were a result from her attempts to create a new spell, only to remain futile as ever. "Usually, I would say nothing… perhaps you're just tired. But it's been months, Mal… get ahold of yourself" she grumbled to herself, she could handle one month or two, but this has been on-going for far too long. And if it continues, then she wasn't sure what else she could do to get back to her old self.
So she gathered every crumpled piece and threw it into the bin before dragging herself to take a coat and scarf from her closet so she could find her answers elsewhere. Keeping herself cooped up in the room would not do her any good, anyway. Her eyes fell on the picture in her tablet, right, the flower; a flower that she's been dying to get her hands on ever since she heard from Bexley that it was growing nearby. One flower would do her more than enough but if Mal was able to get more than one, she could do some good with it. Just because she could no longer do magic, it doesn't mean she couldn't still practice alchemy and the likes. The Aspect of Magic tucked in the tablet inside her bag alongside her journal and closed the door behind her before making her way downstairs.
The manor felt so empty and even Christmas last year wasn't able to make it better. Her hair grew longer and she was tempted to cut it but promised not to touch it until she was able to get her magic back. The snow was sticking in and she couldn't believe she would be our searching for a flower in the mountains this early in the morning, especially in the cold. Trekking there wasn't an easy route and the moment she saw where the flower would be at, she knew climbing was inevitable. "How am I supposed to climb… that far up ahead... " she murmured and kept trying to look for a loophole that doesn't require her to climb. The brunette kept pacing back and forth while holding out her gloves, with no proper equipment except a few ropes to climb, how was she supposed to do that?
He rolled his eyes and narrowed his gaze but let it go, he wasn’t able to forgive her for what she did to his brother because he wasn’t the one who had been hurt by her, if she wanted to be forgiven she needed to take it to the person she had hurt. He grumbled when she mentioned how a spell would only work it everyone was together, he failed to see her point given Han had already told them they were gathered on the isle when everything went down, they had trusted them and in return they had been betrayed.
“Good” he commented bluntly, he was glad to know that she at least suffered somewhat for what she did, though it was nowhere near the level of what Han went through, he knew how it had affected the elder star. It made him angry every time he saw Han get entirely freaked out by small spaces, he could barely make a trip in the car without freaking out. He did chuckle when she said magic gave her a headache too “The world would be much better without it” he commented and shook his head, he resented the fact he was part of that world, especially because there had never been a point in his life where he felt proud to be a celestial.
He rolled his eyes “Well I wasn’t dumb enough to ask anyone who I wasn’t almost certain knew something…” he shook his head, but he supposed everyone assumed he was human given that he didn’t glow like the other celestials and no one stuck around long enough to see that he never aged. “I do take it personally because it brought me nothing but pain” he commented matter-of-factly, he was part of a world he didn’t even know existed and all he ever questioned time and time again was what he did to deserve being shunned and alone. He watched with a hesitant expression when the portal opened, it looked like the exact one he’d seen in the past, except this one was purple and the one he saw before was golden “Isn’t it supposed to be golden?” he questioned but shrugged, he knew it wasn’t a trap because he’d seen one before so he stepped forward and allowed himself to be taken in by it.
She bit her lip and tried to bite back any remark she was going to throw as soon as he said that, she reassured herself that all of his anger was justified, it was his brother, if something similar happened to her siblings, then she would’ve raised hell and any care for anything else would’ve been secondary. Because that’s Malva Ailward for you. She stared back at him and raised her eyebrows when he said the world would be better without magic “You do realize you are magic too, right? Hell, you’re more than magic, celestial beings as the title itself suggests, is something that not many earthly beings could comprehend. Without magic, as ironically as it is considering how much trouble it stirs every 5 minutes, the world would descend into chaos.” She couldn’t even deny it and it wasn’t just her talking as the Aspect of Magic.
She pressed her lips together and softened her eyes because in her eyes, even she could see the man in front of her was still just a child, and she did not mean it in a bad way. “Pain is a relative concept we need to get used to when you live in this world” she mumbled, “Believe me, not everyone wants to be where they are today, including me.” When you were presented with very few options in the first place, especially when you’re desperate to survive, you would take anything. You’d regret it much later down the line obviously, but that’s all on you.
Her ears perked up the moment he said the portal was supposed to be golden, immediately shifting her attention from the portal and back to him, looking at the celestial like a bewildered person “Excuse me? Did you say… golden?” Only experienced and powerful diviners could create portals, and even when they do it, they leave a significant energy signature for her to detect, and Malva has always kept count of who could and who couldn’t, as well as where they did it. But a golden portal? Only one person came to her mind. Once she came to realize who it could be, she cursed, “Motherfucker…” Sebastian Daystar, she’s going to kill you. She couldn’t think much because she had to trail behind him when he entered the portal, leading them to a private house in Denali.
Once the portal closed behind them, she clicked her tongue in annoyance “I am gonna kill that guy… of course he could hide the location from me, you think you’re smart…” well he is. “Anyway, welcome to Denali. I needed somewhere closest to the ley line in North America which is… aside from Evermore, here. We’ll start with your… case first. Wouldn’t you like to know I have one suspect for the person who suppressed your glow? I don’t want to see him though… so that’s another problem…”
Sunmin gave her an unimpressed look “No, I thought that stars managed to fall to the earth out of completely normal phenomenon” he commented sarcastically and rolled his eyes “ his point still stood though, what good did magical stars coming to earth have if they had to spend their entire life in fear, running from other magical beings, there was nothing positive about that whole situation. “The world is already chaotic enough without adding super strength or wings to the mix” he scoffed and shook his head slightly, he might be stuck in this but he didn’t have to believe it was for the better.
He noticed the way she was looking at him and averted his gaze, he wasn’t a big fan of seeing pity on people, it was a look he knew well and had seen often throughout his life so far and it always made him feel a certain way. “Tell me about it” he responded somewhat bitterly when she said pain was a relative concept in a world where you were constantly subjected to it. The way she responded when he said golden caught his attention but he didn’t have a lot of time to respond because he was already stepping towards the portal “The one I remember from the past was golden” he responded, he was certain because he had this repeated memory of it.
After he went through the portal he stumbled a little dizzy from the experience, reaching out for a nearby wall to steady himself “I definitely wasn’t remembering the sickness that came with it wrong either” he grumbled before realizing she was busy cursing someone out in a little rant to herself. He turned to face her for a moment and frowned slightly “Do you know someone who can use golden portals?” he questioned, she definitely knew something and suddenly he was filled with hope at the possibility of finding some answers.
“Why don’t you want to see him?” he responded in a somewhat brash and panicked tone because he really felt like he was getting close to some actual answers and now she wanted to back out of it? No way in hell he was going to allow that.
She rolled her eyes because of course he was going to give her those witty quips, what did she expect from a guy who looked as if he rebels against everything in the entire world just because he could. Such a teenager, she thought. "Because magic means balance and well, the world needs balance… sometimes it means bad things need to happen to weigh out the good and vice versa" Lest they want the world to be cracked into two. It's a lateral concept. Mal spent centuries just learning about the philosophy of magic and why things happen the way they do. You spend a long time learning about that, you may run yourself off the rails.
When he confirmed to her that the portal he used was golden, she basically somewhat reaffirmed that it was indeed none other than the thorn by her side, Sebastian Daystar. Why must it be him? Of all people? "Did it have to be him…?" She sounded slightly defeated from her tone, and sighed heavily, "Look it's not that I don't want to… see him, not in the way you think it is. There is only one person who can use golden portals. Portals are very hard to conjure, it takes certain mastery and practice for it, I can count the people who are able to do it with my hand so it's not a lot. And diviners are not all immortals so, most of them die as soon as their clock ticks out. Colored portals are another thing too… his name is Sebastian… Sebastian Daystar, and he is probably one of the most powerful diviners you'll ever meet."
It is still a wonder how these two are connected. What was Sebastian's connection to Sunmin? "We had a falling out, centuries ago, but I guess I'll put that aside for the greater good. But what I don't get is what is his connection to you? You're a celestial yes, your whole existence is based on your powerful energy but why would he help you only to leave you be?" The Sebastian she knew wouldn't do charity. She handed him a small vial and beckoned for him to drink it "It'll help with the motion sickness, portals are not for everyone. Unless you want to throw your insides out in a few minutes once it sets in, you should drink that, and no it doesn't taste bad, it'll taste like peach." Quite literally.
She took out a bowl and a knife and cleared her throat as she waited for him "I know you don't like this… but I do need your blood… blood magic is easier and more accurate. Besides... I need something of yours to form a connection and blood is the strongest tie to someone."
He scoffed and shook his head slightly “Sounds fucking exhausting to keep up with” he pointed out and shrugged, he was too busy focusing on his own needs to be worried about whether some energy levels lined up or some other crap. Sunmin was staring at the female with an almost expectant gaze because it seemed like he finally managed to find a way to figure out all the crap that happened in his past, maybe if he could figure this piece of the puzzle he would finally be able to restore his light. He’d finally be able to embrace what he was supposed to be.
“So this Sebastian person was the person who helped me to leave Korea” he murmured under his breath, the way she talked about him though she didn’t seem to like him, even if he was powerful, that didn’t mean that anything he did was for good reasons right? He bit his lip softly in thought and lifted his gaze as he listened to her talk about their history, picking up the way she spoke “The greater good?” he commented and chuckled “I’m not sure if anything about me and what happened to my…light…is for the greater good” but then she probably meant because he would owe her a favor for her helping him uncover his past huh.
“Maybe he was feeling kind that day?” was what happened to him really kindness? He had to wonder about it now because he knew more, Han had spent years on the run because of what he was, he’d managed to avoid a lot of that because of his light being held back. He stared at the potion she held out, looking at it much like a disgusted child would look at medicine “That looks like it’ll kill me” he responded bluntly but sighed, he had to take a chance if he wanted answers right. So in the end he held his breath and drank the liquid from the vial.
He wasn’t big on trust and he still felt uneasy around her but something told him that she wasn’t playing games with him “I don’t like this, you’re right” he responded matter of factly but he took the knife and slashed it across his palm “But I guess I’m reckless enough to try anyway” he mumbled.
There was that one thing that kept bothering the Aspect of Magic, she couldn't put her finger on why Sebastian would help Sunmin, especially when he didn't even stick around to ask for anything in return for his 'generosity'. Why? That's the one question that has been floating in her head. "Most celestials in your spot might think it was better to have their light dimmed. I don't know if you have met others of your kind but they would most likely tell you they have been hunted for literally glowing. As if they could help with that. Most you could do is control how bright you glow but no one could dim it like you could right now... which makes sense when we figured a diviner did this." And not just any diviner, the most powerful diviner she has ever met.
No matter what she has against the male, she would not deny that Sebastian Daystar is one powerful guy. She scoffed and laughed genuinely when he said it could have been because Sebastian was feeling kind that day "I've known this guy for centuries... he doesn't do charity. Not to say he would never do something nice but to put a spell on you to dim your light is not the type of stuff you do with a single flick of your finger... It requires precision and concentration. It's not easy." All the more reason why Sebastian wouldn't waste his time to say one good deed for the day.
"Celestials would probably pay a fortune to get that type of spell placed on them..." Mal would admit, she was impressed when Sunmin slashed his palm with the knife with ease, he didn't even flinch. It made her wonder if that nick on his palm was just the tip of the iceberg of what he has been through in life. "I don't do poisons you know. And mind you, potions are crazy expensive in this economy." Not that she cared about price tags. "You're still alive aren't you?" She gathered the bowl with his blood and drew a few symbols after nicking her finger with the same knife, taking a bottle of salt and daystar, sprinkling it a few times over the symbols. "How long have you known what you are? How good are you at your history? Know anything about volakiri?" She had to know what he knows because if he had a volakiri, which was unlikely, it would be easier. But it doesn't mean she couldn't do anything.
She murmured something under her breath in Latin and the candles flared, the temperature in the room getting warmer by the second. "Stand in the circle" she beckoned and took the same knife with her, holding it firmly in her left hand, bringing it up to splatter his blood on him using the tip of the knife. It took a while but after a while, she raised her eyebrow, looking at the symbols in confusion "Well... this is weird. Nothing's working..."