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Every morning, Astraea would wake up earlier than the others and do her morning workout routine which was just to jog around the prairie and water the bonsai plant she had in her room. It has been a several months since she got it as a gift from the kind old lady she has been helping since they came to Evermore. The old lady owned a humble candle shop, the Aurazin has also been helping her out a few times over the week. Because of that, she received plenty of lessons on how to make candles and fragrance oils from her. For someone who likes to gain new knowledge, it was something she never dare take for granted. Her eyes fell on the calendar she hung across the room as she stepped closer, taking one pencil to cross out the date today before sighing to herself, it has been months since they first came to Evermore. She was no longer a temporary worker at the Wanderlust cafe she worked at too, which really told her how long they have been staying here in the eternal city.
That's not to say that they, as a faction, also discovered more information regarding their fall here. Like it or not, they're not here to stay, they're only here because the circumstances said so. The door to the Veil was still locked for them, but the same couldn't be said for the others. And by others, she meant the voidlings. Who knew they had the ability to trespass another realm and wreak havoc after all? Not them, at first, that's for sure. It wasn't until she went scouting with Lucien around the meadow, close to where the gateway to the Veil was located at, that they stumbled across this new information. Of course, they had their suspicions that some of the residents in Evermore were being very negative lately, all due to the voidlings sucking their life force. Sometimes they were put in groups to patrol every once in a while and Astraea, being the persistent girl she was, also led her own expedition personally. There was more to what they have seen and she wanted to get to the bottom of it.
That's why she's leaning against the dresser because she was being careful not to get the bedsheets dirty while tightening her grip on the pencil that soon broke into half. The dark haired female quickly pressed her hand against her left torso and winced slightly, realizing that she had reopened her wound from yesterday. Her right arm had a few bite marks, three to be exact, but she successfully covered them up with long sleeved tops. However, yesterday she was chasing off a group of voidlings from feeding over an innocent single mother and ended up falling over the hill after an altercation with them. She managed to chase them away, but not without suffering from an injury. When she rolled down, a sharp branch pierced her left spot. It would've been fine if she had stopped moving and rested but she had to go to work so the excessive movements caused her wound to reopen. She sighed heavily and got up so she could go to the kitchen to get a glass of water. Only, she didn't make it far. She had a glass in her grasp but didn't make it past the counter to the sink and fainted on the spot.
Carmela was one that slept in since the nightmares seem to run rampant in her mind. She was always concerned with what was happening to her son in the void without her there. How could they still be here stuck on the earthen plane, she wanted to be back with her child. Though she was sure many of them could express this want. She was sure they all feared that the door locked because the void was not what it once was. She worried that it had been overrun with the voidlings and their loved ones were no longer there. It was something she never expressed to the others. As there was no sense in worrying them when there seemed to be little they could do about it.
As she awoke from her slumber she gave a groan as she felt just as tired as she had the day before. She moved out of the bed and looked around the small space thankful to just have a place to lay her head. As she pulled on her robe she made her way down to the kitchen to make coffee. She would need it to take up, to make her way to the hospital for her volunteer hours. When she walked into the kitchen a gasp left her lips as she took sight of Astraea on the floor. She moved around her and placed her fingers to her chin to lift it up. “Astraea, Rae!” She said loudly before she noticed the blood. “What have you gotten yourself into.” She muttered under her breath.
She rolled Astraea over and lifted her shirt seeing where the blood was coming from. With what strength she could use she hauled Rae off the floor and moved to the closest room that had a bed on the bottom floor. “What has happened to you.” She asked as she laid her down and quickly got to work getting rags, bowls of water along with a glass. She found a sewing kit and bandages. “You are pushing yourself.” She said to Rae as she placed a cool rag to her head as she got to work cleaning the largest wound.
Perhaps she shouldn't have underestimated the actual pain the wound gave her body rather than just her own feelings, maybe then she wouldn't have found it hard to even stand, much less walk towards the kitchen. The distance between the kitchen and her room would've taken anyone a good 2 minutes when walking, so with Astraea limping downstairs towards that exact destination, it took her double the usual duration. The last thing she remembered was her feeling both victorious and lightheaded when she gripped the glass in her hand before blacking out. Did the glass fall alongside her? Did it break the moment it hit the floor too? Because the splitting headache she had was enough to send the aurazin back to her very much needed slumber.
Thankfully, she woke up after a while. Astraea was either a deep sleeper or the faintest one, never in between. Today, she decided that falling asleep shouldn't be in her schedule. Though, admittedly waking up while someone who was halfway about to stitch you up was probably not the best idea she had in mind. But hey, at least she hasn't started yet. Nevertheless, she was already conscious so there was no point in faking that. Peeking one eye open, she noticed a familiar silhouette next to her; one she recognized to be Carmela. She tried her best not to move as to not make it harder for the other female to clean her wound and groaned internally, "It definitely didn't feel as painful the first time… it's been a few days though, why is it still sharp. I even cleaned it properly to make sure no splinter got in…"
It wasn't her first rodeo but it was definitely the first time they didn't go back to the Veil to heal themselves. Being a shepherd wasn't easy, it was a shift between being a healer or a warrior in between the two shifts. For someone who usually delves into being an Empath for the most part of her life, the sudden shift to being a full time Shepherd a century ago was still shocking. "The wound keeps reopening… I swear I've stitched it up twice though. Is there an error in that? Or am I just being stubborn…"
Carmela had spent plenty of time patching people up at this point, long before they had been trapped upon the mortal world. So as she had looked in the wound before patching up. Removing debris that was deep inside that would be easily missed without the skilled unfogged eyes that Carmela was working towards. Though she was far from a doctor at that moment in time. So when she was as sure she could be she had what she needed out she got to work sewing it up. She was focused on doing a cross stitch, almost done doing what was needed she looked up to Astraea who was stirring. “Hey there sleeping beauty.” She said as she finished off the stitch and then started to clean around it.
“You have been wounded a few days?” She asked, wondering for a moment if their healing speed was slowing down or if it had always been at a slower rate just being in the veil made it seem like less time. As an empath she was less likely to get hurt then a shepherd. “I pulled out this.” She picked up what looked like the tip of a nail to her, but it was clear almost see through. “I am not overly sure what it is.” She said softly, staring at it for a long moment before placing it in the basin that was there. “How did you get injured?” She was curious for Astraea well being and how hard she was pushing herself.
She removed the rag from her head, dipping it into the water again and placing it back on her head. “You have a fever and need to rest. So you are not to move. You hear me Rae?” She said in her best motherly stern voice to get her point across as she glanced back to the stitches and gasped softly as they seemed to be eaten away and the wound was opening up once again. “What the hell.” She said as she looked back at it. “Astraea...What the hell were you doing when you got this injury.” The panic clear upon Carmela's face as she glanced back up to her.
Who would've known chasing after a person who was possessed by a voidling would cause her this much trouble when they all decided to gang up on her while she was still reluctant to hurt or maim the human vessel. The aurazin moved slightly and massaged her temple as she groaned, "That has got to be my 13th reason… the stitches kept coming off and it's starting to annoy me." It wasn't the first time she has suffered from wounds, hell she has suffered deeper one's than this but she was always able to heal by the time she returns to the Veil. Not this time, of course. This time, they're stuck here. "Hey Carmela" she mumbled, sighing heavily when she heard the familiar tone coming from the woman, she knew she was going to get questioned like this. "I was hoping to keep this injury a secret from… others. Especially Arcadia, god Cadia cannot hear about this."
Who knows what the elder aurazin would do? Arcadia could very well ground her and even though it didn't have to be the final say, Astraea being Astraea would still follow her words. "Yeah it's been a while…" When she pulled out the nail, an almost crystal clear shard, she squinted her eyes and took it from the basin to examine it closely, "This shouldn't even be there… why would things like this lie around in the wake in a forest in Evermore…" Unless of course, someone put it there because it was a trap that they wanted her to step into. "I doubt anyone's growing this in Evermore, it's not native to this part of the world. It's native to Sicily… or the Mediterranean." How did it even come this far?
When asked how she got injured, Astraea knew she couldn't hide this part, not when she's like this so she begrudgingly told her the story of how she was initially chasing 2 voidlings inhabiting their respective vessels, hoping she'd catch them to see where they came from, seeing as they couldn't open the portal back home nor to the Void, which got worse after she found out they teamed up with another 2 so it was 4 to 1 and the cat became the mouse instead. "I had a fever when I first got it… but it didn't last long because it wasn't supposed to be that bad. I feel like it's getting worse day by day though…" and true to her words, the wound was reopening again, "Now that… I did not expect that." She shook her head and leaned against the bed, "Are you sure there's nothing else stuck in it? It could be more of those needles… or something, I was chasing voidlings, not diviners…" Unless she really did get into a trap set by them.