She knew it was wrong. How many times had she told herself that it was utterly and inexplicably wrong? More times than she could count to. Yet there she was, the now slightly flaxen haired Aspect of Magic was standing her ground on venturing off to the city of Argolis. Malva had placed all hands on deck upon deciding that she shall go off to Greece to search for any other possible answers she could be provided with, regarding the fall and destruction of their home, Isle of Skye. How could the Russian born woman forget about it? How could any one of them forget what happened? There was no way she could push it aside without investigating about it. Only, she knew she had to push the matter aside for a while as she got down and resolved other problems on her plate.

It has been at least an hour since she had let her eyes linger on the the red ruby pendant that laid prettily on the table not far off from where she stood. Malva leant against the wall of her room and crossed her arms in contempt. She wasn’t sure what to do with the petty little trinket that she has had in her possession for almost four centuries now. For such a small thing, it held a certain aura to it and it wasn’t at all near pleasantries. It held all the dark energy she harnessed for some particular missions back in the days. Sometimes, in order to best the darkness, was to overtake it using the lesser known method. One it doesn’t expect you to go for. Life did have a tendency at wanting the most twisted for everything.

Shaking her head at her own herself, she grabbed the pendant and tossed it into the drawer before closing it furiously and sat on her bed, her sapphire hues never leaving the mahogany wooden table. It didn't last as long as she thought it would though, seeing as Malva went back to grab it and pushed it inside her purse. It wasn’t as if she could avert her attention so easily without any reason to do so despite giving herself one very solid one. Which was to forget about the past and move ahead in her life. But it’s always easier said than done, per usual. The pendant might look fancy and pretty, but it was gleaming in a very malevolent light. And if there was anything Mal knew from centuries of dwelling around magic, it’s that she doesn’t go well surrounding herself with so much dark energy as it tempts her. But she needed it for this journey.

But after what Octavia told her that day, she couldn't forget about it. This is something she needed to do, she convinced herself to do it. Her touch with magic in general had been cut off, albeit not fully, but it doesn't feel like how it was supposed to feel and if Malva couldn't cope or adapt to those changes, then what's the point? Especially with the chaos incited as of late, things were hectic and it was slowly overwhelming the purple dragon to the brink of insanity. Mal had rummaged through her closet yesterday to find one particular book she kept locked away until she realized she didn't bring it with her. Keeping it in the manor should have been the safest choice but not to Malva, that book was way too important to just be laying around so she had kept it somewhere else in 1698. 

Mal didn't pack much, she literally only put enough clothes to last for a few weeks because the Citadel had their own clothes to be worn and they can venture to Athens if they want. Her hair was a lighter shade of brown and it was slightly longer, the Aspect of Magic stared at her reflection in the mirror before making her way downstairs with her luggage, to wait for Octavia at the living room. This trip wouldn't be anywhere near a luxurious vacation to Greece, yeah people know they'll stay at a hotel in Athens but Mal was going on a pilgrimage to Mycenae Citadel located in Argolis which would take all the attention away. She perched one arm on the couch and allowed her white persian ragdoll cat, Seraphire, nestle in her lap. 

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If Octava had one major flaw as a guard it was that it would never be just a job to her which meant that she put a bit of her heart into what she did, some might argue that was a good thing but often it brought her conflict between what she knew she should do and what she wanted to do because of her personal feelings involved. It was impossible to see the aspects as targets to simply be protected at any cost when you knew them and their emotions, all the struggles they had been through. So maybe it wasn’t the smartest decision she had ever made to allow Mal to go on this mission without more guards but then she also understood why the Aspect of Magic needed space and the right state of mind to do this. “I know about magic and how it works yes but I’ve never...felt it” she responded and pursed her lips “It feels impossible to understand something you can’t even see or prove exists” though she had experienced small glimpses of it through mystical objects, she knew it would be nothing compared to a real spell.

But her mind was focused, no one could convince her otherwise that Mal was going to be the key to defeating whatever dark forces were in play and led to the death of her husband, she didn’t even know why she was so sure about it, she just had this feeling like the Aspect of Magic was closer to the truth than she thought she was. Octavia also got the feeling that nothing they had experienced recently was a coincidence and therefore getting her magic back might be the spark which lights the flame “So some sources of magic can be very powerful but come with some kind of drawback or limitation which keeps the balance, ancestral magic no doubts rests on the morals of the ancestors, nature wouldn’t allow you to do something completely unnatural” the list could go on “But a magic that could cause people to lose their minds completely goes against every moral and natural cause there is” she was thinking about the person who had hurt her husband and what kind of magic they could have used “What balances out dark magic like that?” that was the question they didn’t seem to be able to answer, where was the price being paid for such things.

She believed Mal when she said she was afraid of dark magic, Octavia would be lying if she said she wasn’t too, but it did come to her mind that they quite literally had an Aspect responsible for darkness within their reach. By that logic, could dark magic really be such a bad thing? Perhaps it was one of those things were it wasn’t about the magic itself but behind the intentions of what it would be used for “It’s strange how we always seem to fear the darkness because it’s so neatly tied up with the unknown but” she pressed her lips together trying to think how to explain her take on the matter “But such a thing wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t supposed to right?” it bothered her that there were so many unanswered questions and yet she couldn’t stop herself from asking more of them. “No, we cannot save everyone and not every mission will succeed” her voice was somewhat solemn as she looked back at the brunette “But there are some missions we cannot afford to fail and so we must fight with everything we have” which implied that she didn’t intend on letting as Aspect die at any point.

She chuckled under her breath at Mal’s direction to her saying she was the least annoying of the Ailward siblings “You might talk nonsense sometimes but eventually it all ends up making sense” she spoke it in an amused tone as she made herself comfortable against the seat, it wasn’t long before all the safety demonstrations were completed and they were rounding the runway ready for takeoff “Well there was a time before Skye where all you did was travel right?” she raised her brows, must have been a very long time ago not but she was curious “Do you feel like you got to see enough?” she asked as she crossed one leg over the other and closed her eyes as they went for takeoff. Before long the plane was in the sky and climbing steadily towards cruising altitude. She did feel for the Aspects, always having to be together and therefore rarely getting out of the city but at least it was a big one with plenty to see she supposed.

"Magic is as complex as many people make it out to be" she shrugged absentmindedly, to Malva, magic had been that thing for her to connect with. To lose such a connection after spending a millennium with it would have devastated her greatly. As a result, the Aspect of Magic simply couldn't accept that perhaps she needed help. In the end, her ignorance prevailed and she did go to find help. Octavia being her company would reassure her better than the rest. The Nephilim knew exactly what to do and what she should not do, which made the Aspect feel safer. Even if she wouldn't admit outloud. Especially with everything that's been bombarding them, the mysterious cases they couldn't solve, the past seemingly coming back to shroud them in this infinite cycle of confusion, Mal knew she couldn't give up and act like it didn't bother because it does. She nodded in affirmation, confirming what Tavia concluded when it comes to the matters of power scale, "Exactly that. Nature wouldn't allow you to do something that would be tipped off the balance. It's just simply against the rules, against everything you supposedly took an oath not to do." 

Mal grimaced slightly when the Nephilim asked her what would balance a dark magic such as the aspects of mind controlling, "Since that is completely unnatural, you would have to tackle it back by bringing what needed to be done, in the first place" she knew she had to explain it in a more thorough fashion and easy for the blonde to understand, so Mal got up and took a few vials from her bag, scattering it on the table as she placed a cloth on top of it so it wouldn't dirty the place, "Look here." The brunette lifted a vial of dark substance on her left and on her right was a clear vial, almost translucent. She opened the dark one and poured it on the cloth, "Dark magic" she then followed it by pouring the clear one on top of it, "Light magic. By all logic, it should be easy enough to counter A with B and vice versa, but most witches don't like to follow the book. Not to the dot, at least. In their heads, you have to be unpredictable, so you can't give any rooms for others to sneak in. Can't close the doors and curtains fully because there's always a loophole, but it should get harder to find them, depending on who the conjurer is."

She tilted her head to the side slightly and continued, "So the answer to your question is that, you have to know the cause and everything that lines to it. To understand it would be better if you wish to neutralize it without completely eradicating it. You can't go up against an opponent you haven't done any research on beforehand, right? Especially if they're formidable? Same logic applies." Octavia was spot on about the darkness not being a bad thing, "Mhmm. People misuse a lot of things. In that sense, everything should be corrupted but it's not. The darkness isn't bad, it's just a slightly stronger flavor. It may cause addiction, or it may bring you new potentials. It depends on said individual which path they wish to tread on. It's a complicated thing to categorize." It always amazed her how much Octavia seemed to put everything on the line, but Mal wasn't surprised either. She's seen how fierce the Nephilim was on field. 

Did she got to see enough? Mal glanced at the window next to her seat briefly before returning her gaze on the Nephilim, shrugging as she answered, "No, I don't think I did." When the plane finally took off and it was okay to take the seatbelts off, Malva unzipped her bag and took out her spell journal, skimming through the pages gently and sighed, "I'm afraid" It was soft, like she was confessing, "When we get there… to the citadel, I'm afraid I won't be able to get my magic back. What if that happens? What if something happens to us when we get there? What if the citadel is no more? What if this journey is pointless and something happens in Evermore while we're so far away? I can't help but to think of all of these thoughts."

“See the problem I have with magic is not even the aspect who is supposed to be in charge of it can explain to me how exactly it’s supposed to work” she gave Mal a look to say the more she spoke about this stuff the more of a blank hole Octavia was given the impression it was. “It’s like one of those things you can explain exists but it’s hard to truly understand, like life itself, no one really understands it regardless of how much they try” and she was pretty sure no single Diviner understood every kind either. The more Mal talked the more she was sure she was right about it, there wasn’t even a single source of power for it or a certain way a person had to utilize it. Which basically meant this whole trip could be a complete wild goose chase but they would have no idea until they got there and tried “And is there actual punishment for those who break the rules other than being kicked out of their coven or shunned in general?” she wondered it because this can’t have been the first time someone went wild on dark magic right?

It did almost feel like the other girl was talking in riddles by saying things like bringing back what needed to be done in the first place “But there is no balance for taking someone’s freewill other than losing your own and I doubt that was the deal made” it almost seemed like this kind of magic didn’t play by the rules they knew which didn’t even make it light or dark magic, it made it something different entirely, something completely out of the realm of possibility even. The blonde’s eyes shifted to the demonstration Mal was trying to give but her words were honestly giving her a headache, she pressed a hand to her forehead and sighed “I get what you’re trying to say but I think you really need some lessons in paraphrasing because I swear you sound like you’re reading a poem whenever you explain anything” she grumbled because it was frustrating not being able to fully comprehend this but by now she had resigned to the fact that it was probably beyond either of them.

"So the simple version of what you're trying to say is that there is no way to counter the magic without knowing where they're getting their power from and what sacrifice was made to pay for it" she sighed, well that was their whole problem in a nutshell, they had no idea how this person was getting the power they needed to do this and they had zero hope of actually finding a location where they were to figure that out. "I just find it hard to believe that we can talk about stealing freewill and balance in the same conversation because they seem so far from one another to me" she rubbed gently against her temples in an attempt to calm herself and not get stressed over it, what was the point in that? They'd just be another person down. "Do you think getting your magic back will help you to figure out the nature of...all of this?" she would admit she was kinda putting her hopes in that right now

It kinda made her sad to think that Mal would have liked to see the more of the world but now didn’t have that luxury, it wasn’t like the aspects could just up and leave whenever they wanted to, they were needed in Evermore, hell the world needed them “Maybe we need to make a few more very important missions” she teased it playfully because once all of this over she did think that Malva deserved a break and the chance to do things that made her happy rather than constantly letting the world tell her what she should and shouldn’t do. After takeoff, Octavia got her book out of the carry on bag she had with her and had just finished the first 5 pages when she heard Mal speak and looked up from it. Her eyes softened when she realized what the aspect was trying to tell her “There’s no point thinking about the what-ifs, we chose to make this trip as it was our highest chance, same as we make any decision in the guard” she assured with a nod of her head “And there’s no point doubting it until we see the results for sure right? This could be the edge we finally need” she nodded, to her, it was worth the risk, though she could understand Mal’s concerns.

"You're right. Even I can't even explain it to a dot" she murmured sheepishly and rubbed the back of her head awkwardly, it dawned to her that when someone asks her how to explain magic, she never found answer it. "I can answer if you'd ask me about spells of how does this form works, but magic as a whole? A bit fat F may as well be plastered on my forehead." "Now's the part when I try to tell you it's a matter of philosophy, the study of how life goes but we both know that I'll end up boring myself out." When Octavia asked her if there were any consequences or punishments done to those who dared to set their foot outside the boundaries, Malva shrugged, "It depends on the coven itself. I'm not saying covens are lenient, no, all my life I've never known a coven to be forgiving. That's just the way it is. So long as nobody upsets the order of things, it should be fine but since they would be upsetting a greater glance of nature when they do that, the best they'll get is to be exiled and cast off the coven." 

Diviners are quite like any other species when it comes to tribes, every tribe wishes for loyalty but if that's the case, then there would be no lone diviners surviving just fine. "And those people who are exiled because of that, would not be able to get themselves and access to another coven as easily. They made nature upset, it's natural to see everything coming from there to backfire on them. Which meant that they'll be limited to a few forms of magic that would not be derived instantly from nature but rather use a tether to channel them." To Mal, it was not a hefty one, you play with something then you must carry the consequences. "If you played with fire, then you should know there's a high chance of it burning you so... " A chuckle escaped her when the blonde chastised her about paraphrasing, she's never been good at talking, she works silently because of that. "Correct, you're running pretty fast on this one, I'm impressed" It's not easy to understand magic, especially for someone like Tavia who tries her best not to meddle around it. 

Will getting her magic resolve all of this? Mal saw the way Tavia looked at her when she asked her that, that was the look of someone being hopeful and honestly, the Aspect of Magic couldn't even fault her for putting up expectations because with the way things are going right now, they needed a lot of hopes and luck. "I may not be able to diffuse everything down… but once I get my magic back, I should be able to figure out what's going on by slowly tracking it back to the root. Then I can think of ways on how to take care of it. Unfortunately, things like these would take time" Time she hopes they do have. "I'm not asking you to put your trust in me blindly, Tavia" she pursed her lips lightly and smiled at the Nephilim, "But I need someone to be with me throughout this." And she desperately hoped that Octavia could be that someone. Ever since her feud with Tatiana that caused the dhampir to fall out with the dragon, Mal hasn't been able to talk freely as she used to. Everything was constricted and she felt limited.

 "Important missions, indeed. Where to next? Malta? Oooh Rome… God I miss Rome" she gushed enthusiastically, one might have mistook Mal as someone who was just offered the chances to travel around the world. Well, technically, she was. Sighing heavily to herself, Mal positioned herself on her seat comfortably and tapped against the window on her right side, "I hope we'll find answers when we get there. Anything would do it for me, right now. I'll do anything to get my magic back" she murmured softly as her eyelids slowly felt heavier the longer she stared outside. It didn't even take long for the dragon to fall into her slumber after she ended up counting a few numbers. A part of her hopes that when she wakes up, she'll be able to find a few answers and perhaps, that's the dangerous part of it. 

She chuckled under her breath when Mal said she would get a fail if she tried to explain magic as a whole, it was a concept which was very complicated and even the person who could track it and be personally affected by it couldn’t fully explain it “I guess some things really are beyond understanding” but Mal definitely knew the most about it as a whole, especially because she could feel when the balance of magic was tipping, or at least she could when her powers weren’t on the fritz. “So exile really is the worst they can do huh?” perhaps she was hoping it was possible to take away someone’s powers if they were misusing them but then it occurred to her that ability might be considered an imbalance of its own, because where would the power even go?

“But it’s also right to say nothing is really taken from them right? If they were exiled they could still find...other ways to get power” because it did seem that whoever they were up against was a lone wolf type, there was no way a group would be able to stay so well hidden the way they had, they hadn’t even been able to get a single view of this guy. She pursed her lips thoughtfully and leaned against her hand staring out into the distance for a moment “Unless you somehow find a way to bend the fire to your will and then you become essentially unstoppable” she couldn’t believe for a second that their weird happenings where people forgot their own actions could be the work of natural magic so by that logic someone managed to tame the fire. “Well I have had several centuries around the Diviners, I’d hope I knew a little by now” she chuckled to herself and shrugged.

The blonde nodded softly, it seemed everything came back to getting Mal’s magic back and Octavia really hoped it was the key they needed because if this turned out with nothing then they really have nothing left to graph “Just a clue would be more than we have right now, we’ve been trying to analyze the patterns of events but I think random unrelated incidents are getting thrown in and skewing it” it was really frustrating she had to admit. Her gaze did soften a little when she said she didn’t have to trust her blindly “It’s not you I don’t trust Mal” she responded honestly and nodded her head slightly “It’s everything else around us, it’s a dangerous time for anyone to be away from the others” which especially made her concerned when an aspect was involved as they were no doubt key targets “Don’t worry, I’m not going anywhere” she assured with a nod of her head.

“I was thinking Hawaii” she responded with a chuckle as she made herself comfortable in her seat, pulling down the blinds on the window now they were up at cruising altitude and she closed her eyes “And I’ll be here to make sure you don’t sell your soul in the process” she spoke softly as she allowed sleep to take over, she had a talent for sleeping on planes now and mostly sleeping for the whole journey, she was woken a few times when food came along but she quickly fell back asleep and before she knew it, she was being started awake by the touch down of the plane against the ground of the runaway, she sat up quickly, take a few deep breaths to gather her composure before getting ready to get off the plane.

Malva only nodded, some things were, indeed, beyond understanding, "I think I'd still classify it as something that has no bounds. No limits. It's like trying to understand why nature birthed bad people alongside good. No answers there, no?" And perhaps, there was no importance in understanding it. "Exile is usually the most common route for coven leaders to take. Certain covens, well… most of them, they practice a certain form of magic together. When you're shunned, that goes away bit by bit, it's painful to be shunned by your coven. Much less, exiled. They think it's the best possible way to punish someone. At least it's not bloody" In the old days when sacrificial magic was practiced widely, they weren't too merciful. People were more… considerate, these days. They had rules to uphold, after all. "A diviner can't take away another diviner's power. It goes against nature as you would be robbing their birthright away; when their abilities were gifted by nature itself. Seems counterproductive even if they're the biggest evil there is." Nature is complicated, that's what Malva always said. 

She hummed in affirmation when Tavia asked if they would still be able to learn other forms of magic, "We have plenty of forms to be learned. And nothing is impossible if you put your mind to it so yeah." The thought of bending fire to your will without having to connect and bond with it, it was scary to Mal. Initia was able to harness and channel their energy because of their connection to their elements. They were their friends and family. But mind control, it goes against everything they held up to. Consent. The Aspect of Magic understood the Nephilim's worries, they shouldn't be far from each other, they live as one entity together, after all. And the Ailwards were not without enemies either. Not everyone appreciates their methods and approaches, especially those who will get the bitter end of the stick because they were making a few ruckus.

 But they needed to do this and she couldn't bring the other 7 with her being so far away from Evermore, and it would attract more attention which is not something she needed. It was meant to be a secret expedition hence why she opted to bring only her personal guard with her. Mal felt like a wave of calmness washed over her when Tavia assured her she wasn't going anywhere. "Hawaii sounds nice." Octavia's words kept ringing in her head as the slumber takes her, I'll be here to make sure you don't sell your soul in the process. She didn't sleep as much as the other female, after her meal times, Mal would write a few things in her journal while reading her grimoire. But she did nap a bit shortly before their touch down and was woken up by the announcement from the stewardess, she glanced over to the other side only to see the blonde stirring awake, "Did you have a good sleep? I hope so, because resting at the hotel is not in our itinerary."

 Once they were allowed to get off, Mal tucked her journal and grimoire inside her bag and unloaded her baggage as she went our first with the Nephilim trailing behind. The process of going through the immigration didn't take long and before she knew it, she was already stretching out her limbs while waiting for Octavia. The brunette held some sort of map in her right hand as her eyes wander over the lines slowly. 

“Hence why no one can actually understand it I suppose” she spoke it in a slightly grumbling tone because it was pretty frustrating having to protect something which didn’t really have any limits or guidelines, it was kinda like trying to herd cats. “So being exiled would be painful and no doubt humiliating but might not necessarily stop someone from wrongly using magic” she commented thoughtfully. The person they were up against seemed to work alone so she wondered if maybe they had been exiled and were looking for some kind of revenge for that. “An angry Diviner who is pissed the world turned their back on them could be awful dangerous huh?” she let that topic hang for a moment wondering if it was even possible for someone to get that much power alone, perhaps they read one of those dark books which she knew Mal kept secretly. She didn’t like thinking about any of it and the headache given to her from all this magic talk was probably the reason she was out like a light almost as soon as the plane took off.

When she awoke she blinked a few time to clear her vision and looked around for a moment a little surprised by how dead to the world she had been, given that most nights lately she was barely able to get longer than a few hours if she was lucky and that was usually after struggling to get rest for several hours. “Surprisingly yes” she responded in a slightly vexed tone before it was completely unexpected but she had to admit she was glad for the rest, especially because she knew everything that was to come was going to be taxing as hell and neither of them really knew the scale of what was going to happen on this trip “I had the feeling you’d say that” she commented as she picked up her bag and waited in the queue to get off the plane before heading back through the airport.

It surprisingly didn’t take them all that long to get through immigration and then find their way to the entry hall of the airport where she found Mal standing and holding up some odd-looking map she hadn’t seen before “Do I even want to know what that is?” she asked as she came in closer to inspect the parchment and pressed her lips together “Why do I even ask, everything I ask that question to is a no” she sighed slightly “I don’t suppose creepy magical map has a GPS version online we can actually follow rather than having to go on a wild goose chase in a rental car” her words sounded hopeful but her tone said she’d already given up on the idea of this being an easy trip so, in the end, she sighed softly and headed off in the direction of the car rental desk.

“Things I never thought I’d be doing 1000 years ago, driving a rental car on the road to nowhere” she headed up to the clerk and handed over her papers and license which they processed through the system and eventually came back with her signed agreement, they could head to the lot and pick out any car which wasn’t already spoken for and take it with them. Before long they were heading out of the building and wandering through the rows of cars, the blonde’s eyes lazily scanning over the options.

Malva nodded in amusement as the Nephilim continued to go ahead with her conclusions, "You're good at this," she pointed out with a laugh. Octavia was undeniably intelligent, but even her brothers and sisters still had a difficulty to understand magic so a big round of applause was needed for the blonde. A part of her always majorly worried that if this person was individually, it would be harder to trace them. Whoever did this, they're smart. Very smart. "Mhmm… I don't think anyone angry supernatural is a good thing at all. Or any angry being. Angry Niveis could bring hail storm if they're pissed off and angry Diviner could send a wide scale curse… it's scary" She's came across more than enough psychotic witches and it wasn't easy to subdue them. Powerful diviners were intelligent as well as they were cunning, that's what separated them from many others.

 A chuckle escaped her as she pushed her journal aside when the plane finally landed, it's always easy to go with people who would not be surprised by what she has planned. "Well, you know me, all work and no fun. Unfortunately, that'll be the same for this trip. But at least there should be some… entertainment, somewhere." And by entertainment, she meant events that would probably need her to have her guard at all times. She was quick to pull out the map and soared Tavia a shrug and sheepish grin when the blonde enquired her regarding the piece of old thing, "Can't you see? It's a map. Looks like an invisible cheap knockoff treasure map but… it's a map." Of course, it was still blank. It only looked old from the edges but there was nothing written in the paper that could show them where they're going, which was something Mal was all too familiar with.

 "No, creepy magical map doesn't have a GPS navigation. But luckily for you, I know how to read it" she quipped and waited until Octavia managed their rental agreement. She could drive but someone needs to read and navigate, and that's not going to be Octavia so. "It won't be a wild goose chase, luckily for you this is not my first time going to the citadel. Bad news is, last time I went there, we don't have cars yet. But it should be there still… I imagine nothing much would change anyway." While Tavia was busy eyeing which car to take, Mal was humming to herself while murmuring a few words so the map would be unveiled, and surprisingly, it worked to her favor, "Talk about miracles... " She glanced back at the other female while showing her the map enthusiastically, "If you're done picking the car, the citadel would take us about 2 hours ride from the city. It's far off from any civilization except… animals. You think you can drive for 2 hours to god knows where?"

Her comments about her being good at understanding magic made the blonde laugh softly “I have to be, otherwise I think you may actually drive me insane” she laughed under her breath because Mal had these long-winded ways of explaining things and if you couldn’t figure out how to keep up, you definitely got left behind and as her personal guard, Octavia couldn’t afford to not understand what Mal was talking about. “True, humans can do dangerous things with their invented weapons, it’s safe to say the supernatural can do far worse” which was a slightly terrifying thought but it wasn’t the first time they had experienced supernatural wars and she was pretty sure it wouldn’t be the last either.

Octavia couldn’t say she’d complain about the all work and no play thing, considering she was definitely a work-first person, especially lately when all she could do to occupy her mind was try and figure out what happened, to try and make some actual sense of this mess and pick it apart piece by piece, which was about as frustrating as it sounded. “Something tells me your use of entertainment is relative” she wasn’t the kind who went into missions looking for a fight like some did but she was definitely able to hold her own when the time called for it and people would be stupid to pick a fight with her. “I mean I can tell it’s definitely something” she responded pretty bluntly as she stared down at the parchment “But when it comes to understanding what the hell that is supposed to be telling you, pass” she was blunt with her answer because a lot of the magical things they had simply weren’t all that practical.

She snapped her fingers as though she actually thought that the map would be able to provide feedback on where to go in a modern way “Well then I suppose not all hope is lost, though you better be good at giving directions” she gave her a stern look because Octavia wasn’t the biggest fan of driving in the middle of nowhere without a clue where she was going as she was sure most people weren’t. “Why does everything you say end up sounding kinda ominous” she grumbled as she took the papers from the woman at the desk and smiled politely before heading outside, she walked the row of cars and eventually picked one that wasn’t too flashy and was big enough to suit their journey, she opened the back and tossed her bag inside before heading around to the drivers side “I can handle driving, not my first rodeo and all” she winked as she got into the seat and grabbed the keys, turning them in the ignition “I’m guessing the place must be decently large if it’s an entire citadel” she commented under her breath, she was glad she slept on the plane if she was going to be driving for a while.

"Hey, in my defense, this thing was already created to be very complicated for people to understand. Ask any other diviner, Bexley, Iris, they'd day the same. I don't make the rules, Tavia" she held both her hands up in defense, chuckling at how hard it was for her to understand her own element in hand. Despite the two prominent diviner guards wanting to get their hands on her personal grimoire, it was undoubtedly known that it won't be as easy as it was accessible. Sometimes, even Mal gets confused with her own writing and she was the one writing it, in the first place. Besides, it was only understandable to have her personal guard knowing every little thing she was doing. "Human… supernatural, both don't seem to get their destructive tendencies together. I swear, we can't even have one year of peace, much less a century." 

Evermore may be peaceful now, but that was one city in one country, one continent, one world. They needed more of those places and suffice to say, even with their spared efforts, it hasn't been easy. "Oh come on, Tavia… there's no fun in it if we don't make it" she exclaimed wryly, "I trust that we'll be greeted with plenty of fun later on." She wasn't even sure if that's a good news or a bad one. The blunt answer she received from the Nephilim made her giggle as she tried reading the map properly as soon as they got inside the car. "I'm not the best navigator… but I'm all you have so… we'll have to work on it." Then again, she wasn't sure anyone else would be able to read the map as well as she could, simply because it was written with Gaelic and diviners only learned to study new Latin. Even Bexley herself hasn't gotten her hands up on Gaelic though Iris may be a bit better. Then again, the map was created to trick them.

 "Hey… they don't sound ominous... " she pouted and grumbled to herself, "I just like being realistic. You know I don't exactly stand short on enemies. Not everyone likes me." Malva surely didn't make it easy for her to be likable to some people too. "Yeah, it's a normal citadel from the outside. You're only able to see past the glamour and enchantment the Priestesses put once they grant you access. Of course, not everyone can go in either... " For a place that was meant to be a place of resting for them, it didn't come handy. "But I'll handle that part." She bit her lip and turned to her side to face Octavia from the passenger seat, "I do have to warn you though. The ride may get bumpy. The route was created to trick people. Well, you know what they say, nothing good ever comes easy."

“Well that’s not really a defense, why does it need to be so complicated hmm?” she raised her brows at her, if this citadel was supposed to be the center of magic then surely it was supposed to draw in magical beings, not put every wall there ever was in the way of reaching it, but then what did she know, magic was basically just like this massive headache for her which never truly went away. She gave an exasperated sigh “So what’s the actual purpose of this place if it’s not supposed to draw the Diviners in?” for some reason she pictured it as a gathering for those who wanted to connect on a deeper level with her magic but it occurred to her that she never actually asked the question. “At the end of the day you’re always going to have people who only want to see the world burn” she commented in a slightly disappointed tone, she wished the reality was different but it wasn’t.

“What if I don’t want fun?” she commented in a somewhat grumpy tone, she had to admit she had her fill of mystery and unknowns over the years and it was certainly frustrating as hell not knowing the evil they were up against, which again reminded her why they were here today, once they could get Mal’s magic back they were one step up the ladder closer to figuring out this whole thing. “What if I want predictable and boring for once” she added and sighed, of course, that was going to be way too much to ask for in their particular mission. “Sometimes I do have to wonder if we even consider how insane our lives would seem to literally anyone else” she glanced over to Mal when she said she wasn’t the best navigator, she had to admit she hadn’t really pictured all this when she took on the personal guard role but then she was also glad she was able to be here for the aspect while she tackled this particular problem she’d been dealing with for a while now.

“They do sound ominous, you make it sound like everything we’re going to see is going to kill us” though she widened her eyes and pressed her finger against Mal’s lips before she could even say a word in response to that “Nope, don’t say it, I don’t want to hear it” she slowly lowered her hand as she familiarized herself with the controls of the car and then pulled out, heading out of the parking lot and in the general direction they needed to go “The vagueness of your explanations sets me on edge, I hope you know that” she laughed under her breath because she had to laugh in this situation to stop herself from getting worked up about it and the not knowing “Yeah well I’ve had to drive in India before and believe me it can’t get much worse than that” she shook her head remembering how insane the roads were and there were literally cars and bikes everywhere, weaving in and out of one another dangerously, it was a really tense situation to be in “Also we have to return the rental car, preferably with as a little damage as possible” she gave Mal a wary look as she turned out onto the main road and began following it.

"I don't know, Tavia, it just is" Truth be told, Malva had no clue why some things needed to be complicated beyond understanding but she was under the same implication for centuries long, surely she was used to it, at some point in her immortal life. "But in regards of the citadel, it's an impregnable fortress. It's the oldest citadel in the world, our world. Every layer of protection spell around it is conserved from the priestesses' energy looming from within their...meditation. The stronger their protectors are, the stronger the place becomes. And of course, the more people visit it for their… pilgrimage situation, like mine, the more the place retained its charms. But the road to find it won't be easy, we have plenty of citadels in the world and suffice to say, the more powerful the place is, the harder and complicated it is for the witch to locate it." She couldn't see the logic in it, it wasn't like them to hide other knowledge from others but in a way, she understood why it needed to be done. 

"Call it...uh… protection gestures. You don't want the wrong people to come finding it when they're in need of a powerful source, right?" It does become selectable then and Malva couldn't do much to change it. It was older than even her. "When you go to an ancient place, whether it's a temple or even the woods, any place that had consecrated remains of ancestors of that particular place, you pray to them and communicate with them; nature. The results comes in different ways depending on the individual. Sometimes they'll speak to you, give you dreams about what you seek, and the likes. A place like that is essential for a Diviner to come to when they need to reconnect with nature. It's like a mother trying to reprimand her children to come back home because they strayed too far from home and forgot about her. Everything comes from her, remember."

 A chuckle escaped her when the Nephilim grumbled saying she doesn't want to look for fun, "Sorry for to burst your bubble, Tavia, but boring and predictable has never applied to us. Especially me. You know how much the world loves me." That's why she always does seen to get herself in trouble almost all the time. "I mean, supernatural lives were bound to be more… complicated than humans but ours are far over that scale where others wouldn't even dare to dream to be in our spot. Who wants to risk their lives fighting a whole hydra-like monster that's conjured up from some weird psycho witch, right?" She doubted it. As expected from the Nephilim, Malva was just about to open her mouth to tell her that her remarks were closer to right but was then shushed by the blonde's forefinger pressed against her lips, "I won't say it then."

 The Aspect of Magic giggled softly because in truth, she's a very vague person when she wants to be, "That's why people love working with me" she cooed teasingly. Mal grimaced at the reminder of the Nephilim having to drive in India, "What mission was that again? I know you had to retrieve something and… someone?" When she said the rental car was supposed to be returned in one piece, Mal chuckled and tried to reassure her nothing will happen, "Put a little more faith in me, Tavia. The car will be fine, can't say the same for us but… car's gonna be fine." 

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