The Venetus today differs from the Venetus he knew when he set foot on the Isle. But it was understandable why he would behave the way he behaves now, though that doesn’t warrant his mood swings. Henri usually doesn’t bode well with individuals who tend to lash out for no reason, in particular, that person seemed to be Ven now. But for the sake of his own consciousness that never faded, he swore to protect the Aspect of Realms and he will do exactly that. Ven’s state did not allow Henri to see him most of the time, which admittedly made him fume a few times because it was hard to drag the Aspect of Realms around due to his build without attracting attention to them both. The last time he met Venetus, he had found him reeling in the basement, where the wine cellar was located, with a bottle in his and looking completely out of it. With his enhanced senses, he was able to smell the alcohol reeking off the other male, much to his discontentment. 

So he’s been trying to search on things to do to get his mind off his worries for the Ailward Aspect, may it be some random medical book or even doodling on some blank paper. It hasn’t worked to his favor though, seeing as the therian would end up scrunching his nose up and sighed randomly every 5 minutes because of this thought at the back of his head. He wanted so badly to forget about the whispers inhabiting his head, telling him what could have happened to Ven if he didn't do his duty properly. A guttural growl escaped him as he buried his face with the only pillow that was left intact because he actually needed one to lay his head on. It's better that he uses his head to do something good rather than thinking about the endless possibilities of what would cost him his own life if things go haywire. 

His room was on the first floor so it didn't take Henri long to get downstairs and pass the living room that seemed so dead he actually had to stop himself from wincing again. Things used to be so merry back then when they were at the Isle. It wasn't all rainbows and sunshine, maybe. But they weren't like this. With all that's going on with the city, mysterious cases of people falling victim to active maiming activity, he had best be prepared for anything. He dragged the backpack with him as he wrapped the jacket around his body, it felt snug, probably because he needed to get a new one. Henri pretty much lives in his jacket and shirts, after all. It grants him easier access when he goes down to work. 

Once he got outside of the manor, he stared at the front as he turned his head from the entrance gate, it looked so regal and majestic-like, but the inhabitants inside don’t seem to act like it. He felt extremely upset because of it. How was he going to mend this? His own Aspect has been avoiding him like a plague, how was he going to get any close to others if he couldn’t even take care of his Aspect that he was given the duty of guarding? Sighing heavily to himself, he allowed his feet to take him to his destination; the library. Evermore’s public library was located at the heart of the eternal city, a place where it was mostly surrounded by humans. Surprisingly, there was plenty of knowledge once could dive in-depth for, in there. It was the reason why he wanted to go there today, it offered endless possibilities when it comes to reading. 

Passing by the security standing guard with a small wave as his sign of respect, he eyed the entire scene and took a seat at the furthest corner of the spacious hall. It was near the windows and the aisle there held plenty of biology books, where he was quick to pick one and drummed his fingers against the table softly, flipping the pages casually.

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Penelope Winston a name she still after a few years was getting used to using. Yet it tied her to a life she could have had along with pushing past the life she once had. Well mostly, she still carried her thirst for revenge for Abraxas Bradford. The man that destroyed her family, before she even knew part of it. Now she was gifted with the task of being the Guardian of The Archives Hall, A hall that was a labyrinth with mythic items and books full of magic dark, light, and neutral. A hall you could get lost in and would trap you if you didn’t know what you were doing. A hall owned by Malva Ailward the Aspect of Magic, and while Penny herself wasn't a guard to the order she was of a trusted bloodline that Malva had a hand in making herself.

Though not only was she the guardian of the hall, but she was the owner of Winston Library which was Evermore Largest Privately owned Library. Today was like most days, she pushed the cart along the row of books placing books back. She had a love hate relationship with the Library. While it gave her all the world's information at her fingertips it sometimes felt like a cage. She came from a Nomadic coven, who ran around the woods in the dead of night naked and did what they wished till falling in with Abraxas Bradford. So sometimes she wanted strip away the pin skirt and professional dresses and run around in the woods again.

That day was a day she was missing her mom deeply so pushing the cart around the library placing things back on the shelf made her want to set the building ablaze. So she pushed the cart back to the desk and planned on taking a long lunch when her gaze fell upon a male across the way. Pausing she looked to him, something about him seemed off in his aura. She placed her purse back down and made her way over to the man noting the stack of books he had there.

Biology. interesting it must have been a passion for him, not many would break out such a book otherwise. "Looking for the answer to all your problems?" She said as she looked to him and offered a soft smile.  “Forgive me, your energy felt off and I had to come and see if you were okay.” She held her hand out to him, “Penny.” She spoke her name as she looked over the stack of books again. “Just interested in the topic? I can offer you some recommendations on books. If you are looking for something special.” She kept the grin as she lifted her hand to push back her hair, The magic symbol specific to being an allies of Malva upon her inner left wrist.

While his eyes were busy focusing on the book he held in his hand, he noticed that another presence was gracing the exact space he was in. Being a therian had its perks, and for someone who has long trained himself in the arts of it while serving his time in the Guard, Henri’s senses were a bit sensitive. Aside from being in the forensics team, he was also a brilliant tracker, so when another came into his radar, his ears perked up instinctively and lifted his eyes up from the book, casting away his occupied self away for a while so he could see who it was. Her voice came later on, accompanying the silent aisle he perched himself at. With his right hand holding the biology book, Henri leaned back comfortably and spared a small smile, “Something like that. I guess you can say I’m doing a few readings. It never hurt to invest some time in knowledge, no?”

 The lady standing before him was a bit taller than any other girls he’s met, and she carried herself with such class and her aura pretty much gave away how enigmatic she was being. She had magic to her, he could smell that much. And for someone who’s surrounded himself with plenty of magical people during his service in the Guard, Henri was able to identify if she was a diviner or not, which he was playing a guess with, right now. “My energy felt off?” he raised his eyebrows in questioning manner, “Do you mind if I ask what that means?” Perhaps, it was because the therian had been worrying over his Aspect endlessly day and night, his head was pretty much filled with worries and distress. When she introduced herself to him, he felt obliged to introduce himself in return. It was only right and polite to do so when someone has done the same. “Henri.” 

When she offered to help him find the books related, he was about to thank her, until his eyes fell on the mark etched on her left wrist. That symbol, he recognized it. He was sure most of the Guards would recognize it, especially if they’ve gone on missions given by the Aspect of Magic herself. Malva likes to carry herself with a certain energy, it’s easy to locate her signatures. The Aspect of Magic basically marked everything with her sigil, whatever and whomever they say with said sigil was pretty much affiliated with the purple dragon. They were also on the list to be protected if anything were to occur as nobody would want to poke the sleeping purple dragon who was infamous for her creative ways of punishing people. “That mark. Where did you get it from?” he pointed.

The way he seemed to notice her before she was even there made her wonder what he was. She knew she could use a detection spell but where was the fun in that?  She gave a smile as she looked at the set up he had placed for himself. He clearly wanted to relax among knowledge it made the aura reader in her want to know why though. “It is always nice to see someone who loves a subject what seems like deeply to you.” she said as she scanned along the book and gave a slight knowing smile “Never hurts at all to invest in knowledge and yourself.” She gave a gentle nod in agreeing. She pulled the chair out she sat across him as she watched him study her. She wondered what he was picking up as he observed her.

“Well your energy feels…” she watched around him for a moment and then gave a slow sad smile. “Like you are frustrated about something and you came into these walls to bury yourself in a past time you enjoy to get your mind off it. Or is it you think you can maybe find the answers if you occupy your mind with another task. Well frankly you looks stressed and like you could use a week's worth of sleep.” She said as she shook his hand and then crossed her legs one over the other. “It is a pleasure to meet you Henri.” She gave him a large smile. Her gaze moved to the sigil that was tattooed on her inner wrist. “Well I think you know where the mark is from since you are asking about it. Most would just write it off as a random tattoo.”

She crossed her arms slightly as she relaxed into the seat. “I am associated with Malva, I am the Guardian of The Archives Hall.” She said as she looked him over for a long moment. “I am guessing you are a guard, but not a diviner...Something with more strength. Dhampir? Or Therian. You don’t feel dark enough to be a Valkyr, you also don’t seem to have a purple tint to your eyes so not Nephilim.” She hummed rubbing her fingers to her chin. “My money is on Therian with how you were able to know I was coming.” She chuckled softly and then stood back up from where she sat. “Come, I know where there may be some better books for you to read, that could be more helpful. That is if you want to tell me what is troubling you.”

He didn't expect to be interrupted by anyone, much less the librarian herself. Or at least, that's what she seemed to be dressed up as. Henri was used to picking up both assumptions and presumptions throughout his years, this was no different. Any other day, he might as well expose himself as someone supernatural with how fast and quick he was to detect another presence in the area but then again, people usually brush it off as being extremely perceptive or attentive. Either one works for the therian seeing as it applied to him just as well. "You're right, it never hurts to invest in knowledge. It's a broad world, it'll be utterly boring if you don't try to pull yourself in somewhere. For me, it's this" he waved the exceptionally thick book in front of her with a wry smile, "Biology is my love."

 Had this been a topic centuries ago, Henri would be so fascinated, not to say that he's lost the element of surprise now, but things are quite different now. There was a clear contrast in it now.  When she pulled a chair across him to take a seat, Henri's watchful eyes never left her green hues, it was startling for him to do this so early in the day, especially in a place so public. When she said he felt off, or at least his energy does, Henri found himself struggling his pained chuckle, it doesn't give a good look for someone like him to look like he was in constant pain, or constipated. "That heavy huh? Is it overwhelming? Enough to bother yours?" He's a therian, he could smell them, and from the words alone had shown she was a diviner. "I do need a week's worth of sleep… at this point I'd even take a whole day worth but I don't think that's gonna happen anytime soon." 

He dragged the book in front of him on the table and shrugged, "I was thinking that maybe by occupying my mindspace with work that would actually be able to benefit, would be far better than trying to accomplish something I know is almost impossible." He said almost impossible because he knew that it wasn't impossible altogether, he still hasn't given up on Venetus, not yet. What kind of a guard would he be if he was to ever give up on his Aspect? The man who's been by his side and him his, for centuries? "The pleasure is all mine" he nodded his head softly as a sign of acknowledgement before averting his eyes to the mark etched on her wrist, it was almost enigmatic and he knew the magic pull to it could only scream one person he's seen around for awhile; Malva Ailward. The question is, who is this woman and how is she connected to the Aspect of Magic? 

The moment Penelope revealed that she is an associate of Malva, he parted his lips and drawled a small ah, "Right. Of course, you are. She had apprentices spread around, why am I even surprised" he chuckled, but the Guardian of the Archives Hall, now that's a feat. Malva must've trusted her if so, especially when she looked so young in comparison. "So this is where it's at" he mused coolly, it was clear from the way she's situated here, she was no ordinary librarian and the Archives Hall could be moved to places occasionally, you don't really question Malva. It's a shame place when she's situated in Evermore. What Henri does know is that the Guardian must be near at all times so it makes sense. "Bingo" he pointed out with a smile, "Therian." When she offered to show him somewhere better, he thought, why not? Anything to get his mind off. "My Aspect. He's been… off, lately."

Penelope chuckled softly as he agreed with her on the fact that knowledge seemed to be a big thing for both of them. She looked to the shelves around them taking in a deep breath for a moment. “I have to say sometimes it's like you can breath in the knowledge being here. I bury myself in new topics often. Since I figured why not learn as much as I can?” she chuckled for a moment before looking at the thick book in his hands that he waved about. “Ah Biology A topic I have dipped my toes in lately but am no master at.” She chuckled for a moment. “Did you know from an early age that you loved Biology?” she asked lightly as she touched the ends of her hair to brush them back.

Penny hues held his hazely green hues for a moment and she chuckled softly towards him as he questioned about his energy. “I would say I am sensitive to it more so because I have visited a vile between life and death along with touching both sides of light and dark.” She knew it sounded like a riddle but actually it was the truth. She almost died visiting the place of the dead before being pulled back into her body now a light diviner thanks to the man she had been trying to save. Her father. “Maybe I also look for those to help.” She muttered with a light chuckle. She frowned when he spoke of not being able to sleep but it seemed to be due to something he couldn’t control. “No?” She asked but then hummed for a moment. “I can provide you some help maybe in that department.”

Penny just gave a slow smile for a moment as she watched him. “Nothing is impossible. At least nothing I have come up against yet. Though sometimes the will and the way do not know how to align at that moment.” She said as she leaned on the table for a moment as she took in his face for a moment. She bowed her head in respect back to him for a moment. Though she knew he was something more even if she couldn’t smell it out the way he could. “Well maybe hold back on the pleasure until you get to know me.” she laughed softly tossing him a playful wink before she settled her face into her hand for a moment.

Penelope laughed softly as he gave a small ah, “Well you have to respect a woman who not only has guard but pockets outside of the guard on the lookout to keep magic safe. She can’t be everywhere and we help cover the slack.” Especially as of late with her magic not being the most reliable. She looked up for a moment and smiled. “Where it lives and breathes.” She said and chuckled because of how true the statement was. The damn Archives Hall had a mind of its own and often had her scratching her head if she wasn’t nice to it. It was kinda like a living old lady. She almost gave a cheer when she guessed his species. “Have to give myself a point for getting it right.” She stood up and waved her hand for him to follow her between the rows of books to the secret doors as she opened them and walked through them her dress went from librarian to a flowy dress and she waited on him to pass through the barrier and when he did with no problem she knew the library knew he wasn’t a threat.  “How has he been off?” she asked as she walked with him deeper into the archives hall the wall sealing behind them.

Henri wasn’t used to meeting new people, even the people he’s met when he needed to carry out his missions weren’t people he would find himself talking to, but with her, maybe it could change. Just a bit. It’s a step for his introverted self to get out, right? He couldn’t keep to himself forever, having a friend sounds like a good thing in times such as this. Especially when Henri is more likely to find himself grumbling at how ridiculous his Aspect is behaving lately. Venting his frustrations on books and experiments would be the least of his worries if it keeps going on like that. “Knowledge is power, yes” he nodded in affirmation, it keeps people going without pushing any certain expectations on them. Scholars were praised and complimented for their talents and abilities alike, now and then. It didn’t seem like things ever changed. 

When asked if he’s found a calling to Biology since a young age, he chuckled and shook his head, “Actually, I’m not even sure if biology existed back then” If she’s a supernatural and an affiliated person, there should be no problem to out his identity. Besides, he’s already told her what he was. “I never thought I’d be someone studious either, it didn’t seem like a path I’d take when I was young. But, things would often surprise us, right?” Now, he’s working as part of the forensics in the lab. “Curious” he noted, she seemed quite peculiar, it piqued his interest and when it comes to the therian, it rarely does. He lifted his gaze to meet hers when she offered some help with his sleeping schedule, “I’ll forever thank you for that” Her help was very much appreciated, Henri would take any help, really. He needed proper sleep if he was to replenish his energy after patrolling too. 

“I get lethargic easily these days… my sleeping patterns are also...bugged up.” The therian chuckled wryly when she told him to hold on the pleasure, the playful wink settling in the back of his mind, well she certainly is interesting. How long has it been since he actually had someone to talk to, much less this playful? Venetus had been someone he frequently talks to, it was why the Aspect of Realms knew him like an open book but since Henri prefers to keep himself closed away from most parts of civilization, not many knew of him either. “Oh? So you’re proposing that there will be a next time for this?” he teased, he could get used to this. The Archives Hall was only meant to be a myth but after centuries of putting his service to good use for the Ailwards, he knew better than to think there’s no more than what meets the eye. Of course, she would have a place like that built. Malva is a very complex person, nobody could truly pick out what she’s really thinking, but one thing was for sure, she was mostly a well-prepared woman. 

“True… I guess nobody else ever knew this place existed, including me. Some heard about it but I hardly doubt a lot of people have visited it before?” Maybe the diviners in the Guard would know better, they are diviners, after all. Every diviner in the Guard has been under the tutelage of the Aspect of Magic, at least once. Some of those, she favors, such as Bexley and Iris. It feels like the place had a mind of its own and he was being very careful not to offend it, “Why do I feel like I have to be careful around here? Is it because it gets offended easily?” He almost wanted to say it’s like the owner herself but refrained from saying that. He followed her into another entrance and saw how her attire had changed, “Looking classy” he pointed out with a laugh, he pondered briefly on how to describe Ven’s state too, “I mean, he’s rarely sober… it’s hard to talk some sense into him when it happens. He’s closed himself off, I’ll be lucky if I could find him somewhere else that wasn’t his room or the wine cellar.”

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