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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He furrowed his brow a little frustrated by her words, of course he couldn’t blame her for seeing him that was because it was the picture he had always painted to the world but he hoped she knew him well enough deep down to know that front he put up was to protect himself. His parents had abandoned him before he could even meet them and the person who took him in was killed right in front of him. He never stayed because that was all he had ever been taught by the people closest to him “You’re right, I don’t” he responded with an exasperated voice, not feeling the energy to argue with her and point out how he had been at this citadel protecting it for the best part of 100 years now. When she asked him why she didn’t get tested he shrugged “You seemed tortured enough...besides there’s no way in hell you’d come back to this place unless you were desperate” he pointed out as though it was a simple fact.

He nodded slightly when she mentioned how Argent had a magical switch in her “Convenient for when you need to interrogate people” he commented remembering a time when Argent had analyzed his aura too when they were deciding what to do with him. He supposed it was thanks to her that he got to roam free on the isle of Skye. He gave her a look when she said that negative emotions were pretty much all she had to offer right now and bit his lip slightly “Well as difficult as it must be for you, you’re going to need to find something better to offer me than sarcasm” he commented bluntly before biting on his lip “It’s faded...the same but faded, like it’s distancing itself from you” which fit with their locked away theory.

He grumbled under his breath when she said she had peeked in them “Should have burned the damn things the moment we found them” and that was saying something coming from him, he had always been a spokesperson for magic and the expansion of it, he believed every diviner deserved to know and learn magic to its depths but even he knew those books were dangerous, containing spells and curses that went against the balance of magic as a whole. “Tell me you aren’t planning to read them again” he demanded because it bothered him knowing that she had turned to those books before every other possible option and by that he meant that she never even tried to seek his help on this. Hell she wasn’t here for him, she was here for the priestesses.

He listened as she talked about how she could only decipher the motivations of this tyrant being to wreak havoc and scare everyone which was honestly the scariest motive he could come up with, how did you track someone down who just wanted to hurt...everyone. “Like hell, he does” Sebastian disagreed immediately “And it’s not like you to be so defeatist Mal” he pointed out before pressing his lips together, she was right though, she needed her magic back if they were going to stand a chance of figuring anything out. The look in her eyes as she stared at him, it made his heart clench in his chest, reminding him that no matter how frustrated or upset he was with her, she always commanded him without trying “Your mind is shrouded in darkness...have you managed to tap into any light magic...even with a channel?” he suspected the answer might be yes.

Maybe she knew what he was trying to do all this time and maybe she just wished she didn't, because that would mean she cares about him still and all Malva has been trying to do for the past 400 years was to forget what they had. It was much easier that way, or so she thought. She sensed the exasperation in his voice and pressed her lips to form a thin line, don't mind him, she reminded herself. "You're right, I am desperate and that's exactly why I'm still here and haven't stormed out the moment my eyes land on you" she didn't mean to sound as harsh of course and she hoped that he would be able to sense the frustration lacing her voice, losing her magic, the thing that has been holding her this strong the entire time was a devastating blow towards the Aspect of Magic. Sebastian knew what it meant to her. Because he knows her, more than she would dare give him credit for. 

The brunette scoffed and stared him down when he said she better tone down the sarcasm in her, "I thought you like it when I'm being fiesty, you used to say I have quite the mouth on me" she pointed out dryly, oh they had plenty of history, that's for sure. Upon hearing that her magic was distancing itself from her, Mal groaned loudly and sighed, "Don't come running away from mama now" she muttered under her breath. "Oh please, even if you are 98% hell bent on burning those, the 2% in you would've told you not to discriminate. It's not going to overpower the majority but we used to say we shouldn't erase anything from earth… no matter how bad they are." Although she wasn't a big fan of dark magic due to her trauma, Mal still held onto the same principles she had, diffusing them but never eradicating them. She didn't have the right to do that. "Burning them wouldn't have done much damage anyway…" it could be recovered should the individual be determined and powerful enough to piece everything back up. 

"Not now I won't, not after what happened, I still get nightmares over it… if I didn't brew myself my own sleeping draught, I swear you would've seen more dark circles under here" she pointed to her eyes and huffed. She had to do something and while dark magic is much more dangerous and volatile, they were still holding energy. And at the time, whatever energy that is powerful enough would be more than enough for the Ailward Aspect. "I'm not being a defeatist, Sebastian" she had a glare and a look of frustration while not being amused written all over her face, "But when you've been hit so many times, you need a break before you break yourself. It's been hard okay, I'll admit after that, things were crazy and I was alone. I didn't have you to bring me back to the living plane." And whose fault was that? Hers too, no doubt. She was the one who refused to grant him an audience for so many years. 

"I tried channeling a few of the protective charms Argent made, it worked. But it's not a big amount of energy, I mean it's not a wide channel for me to keep taking and not giving. Before this, I didn't need to tap into anything, I am magic. It's like trying to use a limited generator that can run out anytime, it's not a good solution. My ability to do magic hasn't faded away, at least not yet, but the magic I've been in tune with for the entirety of my life is my own, now it's running away. No wonder I get frustrated and my magic ends up malfunctioning." She pulled out her infamous ruby pendant that he actually gifted on one of their former conquests that stored up a lot of dark energy, "I was too afraid to tap into this though. It's the kind of power I want but you know how afraid I am with dark magic after what happened."

He had to bite his tongue when she said she wanted to storm out the moment she laid her eyes on him, maybe he deserved that but she had been the one to completely shut him out in the end, god knows how many times he tried to reach out with an olive branch but she didn’t want it. He gave a soft sigh but let it go, he knew Mal and he knew she was never cruel on purpose, it was her emotions that always got the better of her “I missed you too” he jested, shaking his head slightly as though to dismiss any of the feelings of confliction that wanted to pop up.

He chuckled in agreement when she pointed out that he liked her being feisty, he wasn’t the kind of person to hold a candle to anyone who was why or weak-minded, he liked a woman who would always fight her own battles and speak her mind and of course she knew that “It gets you into trouble quite a lot though” he commented in an amused manner and ran a hand through his hair. It honestly made him frustrated too, to see the situation she was now in, god knows magic was his whole definition and the idea of losing his seemed like a nightmare “I’m sure it’s not as far away as you might think” he assured her. He grumbled because she was right, there were rules when it came to magic and destroying a spell felt wrong, even if that spell should never be used “Whoever created something that...dark should be sorry” he cursed under his breath.

He felt a little more reassured by the fact she said she didn’t plan to read the books again, though her confession about the nightmares and not being able to sleep made his brow furrow slightly. “I think you look as radiant as always” he responded and grinned slightly, of course it was a slight stretch of the truth because she was clearly in need of some real rest but even with dark circles and that glare which kept finding its way to him, he still thought she was most beautiful. He allowed her to vent her frustrations and bit his lip when she said things had gone crazy and there hadn’t been anyone to pull her out of it “You could have called me” he spoke in a small voice, he wished he could have done something to help.

He nodded slightly, so the problem wasn’t that she couldn’t perform magic if she was able to siphon it off of other sources which it was only her magic specifically that was being held back, it made him wonder what sort of spell could be out there to completely block magic like that, if it was a curse then it would have to be from someone powerful and considering this was the aspect of magic they were talking about, he couldn’t think of anyone that might fit the bill “Magic doesn’t just up and walk out in parts, either it’s there or it isn’t” and he could definitely sense that it was there with Mal. He eyed the pendant around her neck and shook his head “I don’t think countering dark magic with more dark magic achieves anything” he bit his lip “Maybe we should try a channel of pure light” he pointed to the water in front of them implying she should give it a go.

She wanted to say likewise or that she misses him too but her pride would not allow her to let those words be uttered out loud. "Trouble finds me, not the other way around" she grumbled, it wasn't as if she was purposely trying to land herself one. It just… so happens that Malva Ailward attracts those a lot. "But what's new…" she muttered under her breath. She could see that he was trying his best to reassure her and calm her down, because god knows what would happen if the Aspect of Magic is blowing her lid off. The last time she threw a tantrum, things did not end well. Not just for the two of them either. "Oh I don't know Sebastian, in my mind, it's not just far off, it's out of stretch" she grumbled, Mal knew sarcasm is the last thing she should be using, especially against him, but she couldn't help herself. 

It was just her second nature to keep biting down the remarks with these. It has somewhat become her coping method. "It's human nature to want power…" she sighed, she understood that desire, at some point in her life, she wanted more things too, under the guise that she needed them to protect the ones she cared about. But later she realized that a part of her only wanted it for her own personal desire, which was wrong. One should never monopolise everything with that kind of intention. "I want to blame them for creating such a dark thing but… would we not have done that too if we were ever in their shoes?" Perhaps they would've been worse, who knows? When he said she still looked fine despite the exhaustion marring over her features, Mal chuckled and shook her head.

"At least your compliments aren't as cheesy as it used to be…" she would admit that made her heart flutter a bit. It was as if nothing bad ever happened to them. "I could've…" she nodded in affirmation, he was powerful and he knew her so well, there wouldn't be any harm in enlisting his help but she couldn't bring herself to meet him again. The memories of the past still haunts her and it wasn't just their feelings to each other. It was so much more than that. The Ailward Aspect also remembered telling herself to not let the heart rule over the head. She should at least live up to those words, right? "I didn't want to burden you." That's not the full truth to it but there is some part of it. "I'm more convinced now that it's still inside me… you can't just steal the magic from the Aspect of Magic, right? I don't think that rule is even applicable in this universe" it wouldn't make sense. "But, I do know it's probably sealed somewhere I can't find. It feels like I'm being robbed off my senses and I can't search for anything without them." 

When he said countering the problem with the same element wouldn't work, Mal pursed her lips and stared at the pendant from above, "But wouldn't some scenarios deal it better by playing fire with fire? Defeat the monster using a monster. What makes this case any more different?" But she wasn't opposed to light magic, so she went over the fountain and tried to channel a portion of it, not too much of it, just enough to do plenty. Later, she looked up at him with a puzzled look, "Now what? Because I don't feel any different."

He scoffed slightly under his breath when she blamed trouble for finding her “Is that so” he commented but it was clear from his tone that he didn’t agree with her, the aspects were basically like magnets for trouble, he knew that from experience. He looked up at her for a moment, his gaze turning a little stern when she spoke pessimistically “I disagree, if I can feel it...then we just need to find a way to break through to it” she had the same aura she always had, he could feel her power within her, it was just weaker, like it was being held back. “Yeah well it’s also human nature to do stupid things with said power” he commented, thinking of the countless examples in history where someone let power go to their head.

He frowned slightly remembering the time when they had accidentally created a cursed object, he supposed they couldn’t really talk about blame when you considered that “Still it seems much easier to make something dark and dangerous than something light and good” even as a dark diviner who was much more versed in dark magic, he understood the importance of the balance between dark and light “Nature has to fill that gap for us” he grumbled, people were the ones who destroyed things. He bit his lip when she didn’t immediately refute his compliment “I’ve had some time to refine them” he joked back as he stared back at those oceanic eyes, he swore she could still captivate him with a single look.

“You’re not a burden” he pointed out as though it was pure fact that couldn’t be disputed when she made an excuse about why she never came to him, he understood, there was complication between them and he had told her he would never forgive her for taking the information about his father away from him. “You can’t just steal magic full stop, it has a mind of it’s own, we’re foolish if we believe control actually belongs to us” magic worked with those that allowed it to be channeled, but it still had its own lifeforce and flow, something no diviner was able to dictate. “Then let’s try shining a light on it...maybe between the two of us, we can find something” it seemed crazy but he honestly believed with enough light magic, they might be able to find the way out of the darkness surrounding her.

“Isn’t the saying fighting fire with fire leaves the whole world burned” he commented bluntly as he looked up at her and sighed, sometimes he wished the aspect of magic would have more faith in him. His apprentices here respected him as a teacher and an advisor but sometimes around her he felt like a young child trying to seek approval. He watched as she moved closer to the fountain, her hand in the water attempting to channel it. “Really...because I see something different” he commented as he came in closer to her, seeing the glowing purple hues that affirmed she was in tune with her power. “Okay, I want you to picture that room again, but this have a torch” the light magic could act as a beacon for her “Let’s look for cracks” he commented as his hands came to rest on her shoulders, his own eyes glowing amber as he slipped back into her consciousness.

She narrowed her blue hues at him and huffed, every time he says something she had the temptation to bite him back with her own remark and it was increasingly hard to control herself. Especially when they haven't met each other in a while and her mental and emotional state isn't the best right now. If she's pissed then it's more likely for them to find the dragon in a distress mode. "It's not as if we can really change it, can we?" They didn't have the rights to stop any of that from happening, the most they could do was prevent it but it wasn't easy to prevent things like that altogether. "Eventually, we leave it to them to do whatever until we get to track them down. That power they so selfishly want will end up eating them up"she mumbled, she has seen so many cases of diviners dying from overexertion. It was not something new in this world. 

"We both know the first rule of creating a magical object is your intentions and mind" she tapped her head and sighed heavily, "even if you mean well, if you're a natural born pessimist who has more negativity colluding in here more than positivity, what you make will be the exact image of what you picture." It was no wonder creating something light and good would be a challenge. "You don't say" all these years away, of course he had the time to refine them. Mal knew she probably didn't have the right to ask but she couldn't stop herself from asking, "How did you fare in the past four centuries anyway? Found someone of your liking? Or… plural?" Just because she's possessive over him, didn't mean he didn't have the company of another. It's not as if they had anything official or swore an oath to uphold it anyway. They were free to act however they wish. When Sebastian said she wasn't a burden, Mal bit her lip and looked away, she didn't know she needed to hear that until today. 

"You can't steal magic, correct. But you can damn well make it harder for your target to practice if you place a barrier on them. In this case, whoever this person is… placed a huge seal in me. The problem is… seals are supposed to be placed on your own or you physically manifest it in your target. I don't remember meeting anyone who would harm me…" she grumbled, "Or I don't even remember putting a seal on myself." That remains to be her question. Malva does trust him on this, Sebastian had knowledge like no other and considering how diviners aren't supposed to be immortal unless they achieve it, that says a lot. An already powerful diviner equipped with immortality, that's who he is. "I mean I don't know about you but you know I'd leave some parts of the world burned if I know it could be reborn better or saving the others more." She followed his instructions and closed her eyes once again, picturing herself in her consciousness but this time she was to be equipped with a torch in her right hand. 

After a while, a torch manifested itself. "Okay that's a good start…" She slowly started to use the torch to shed some light in the room. She noticed there was no doors still but the windows were present, until she noticed the dust collecting at the side of the wall. "Wait… there's a hidden slot… a door maybe…" she tried to edge the cracks a bit and it was finally open. But there's still a lock. "Now I have a door… I just need to find the key."

He sighed and rolled his eyes “I can still be frustrated with the amount of stupidity in the world” he commented and shook his head slightly, he may have made some mistakes in his earlier days of learning magic but he had come a long way since then and those mistakes were never repeated, he learned not to be too greedy because that always lead to a price he didn’t want to pay. “That is the one thing you can always rely on always finds a way to balance itself out in the end” no matter how much someone tries to tip the scales it wasn’t supposed to be that way and the world would find a way to remind them of it.

“This is your subtle way of calling me a pessimist isn’t it” he commented chuckling at the way she so vaguely described a situation he had been through, Sebastian had his fair share of times when magic had gotten the best of him but that’s what made him get so much stronger, learning from his mistakes and really working to understand the workings of magic. He looked up at her for a moment when she so casually asked how he had been, wondering if there was some cryptic reason she was asking something like that, he bit his lip softly “There’s been a few people here and there” he answered honestly, though the look in his eyes eluded to the fact that none of it was all that serious or long lasting “What about you? Someone must have cracked that ice heart by now” he teased as he glanced over at her.

He nodded slightly when she ranted about how magic could be concealed “So you have a mystery person who’s managed to lock your magic away from you, hardly seems like that’s a coincidence with all the attacks” he would immediately take a guess that the same person was responsible for both, no doubt taking out the stronger links in the chain early on, if he was to launch an attack than that’s how he’d go about it anyway. “True” he agreed with her, sometimes the world was so screwed that perhaps the best thing to do was to let it burn out and start again.

He held his breath in apprehension as she tried to navigate her way through this locked room one more, when he opened his eyes the two of them were standing in the same dark room, though this time they could see a hint of the shape of the room because of the torch she was holding. He followed behind her, peering at the shape in the wall and he looked closer “A door is more than we had before...though I fear the key is going to be harder to find” he pressed his lips together and was about to start searching on the floor when he heard the sound of a familiar voice, he turned back only to see a second version of Mal standing there, looking harsh and cold, voice dripping with icy demeanor as she taunted “Do you really think you can break your way out of here, you can’t even light a candle” naturally he placed himself between them and watched with a wary look.

Balancing things out wasn't supposed to be nature's responsibility, it was supposed to be each individual's. It was up to them, not the other way around. But obviously the world saw how stupid humans can be when given power and allowing it to get to their head so it had to do its extra job at the end of the day. In this case, Malva is basically a conduit between the two nether ends. It's like looking at a giant globe where each dot marked an anomaly instead of a territory. "Such a tiring thing" she mumbled and shook her head. "Yes, this is my subtle way of calling you a pessimist but let's not worry too much, it takes one to know one, no? Two peas in a pod kind of thing…" Mal acknowledged how pessimistic she could be and when paired up with someone similar, they weren't supposed to work. In all laws laid down, they really weren't supposed to work but strangely enough, they did. It was why they were together for quite some time, somehow they know how the others things and works. 

Mal shouldn't have asked him that, it was a personal question and she honestly didn't want to know. Or at least, that's what she kept telling herself. You cut yourself off, you refused to see him after what happened, she told herself. So why are you so curious? He had implied that none of them lasted long enough to be considered a solid relationship which made her soften a bit, that's a relief. When he teased her, the Aspect of Magic scowled and huffed from dissatisfaction, "Some tried. One came very close to melting it but… as usual, considering my luck with anything and anyone in general, of course it wouldn't last." The closest one to come near left. And she should've known better than to think he'd stay. "You'd think by now I would've learned my lesson." There was no coincidence in these attacks, they were carefully planned and even she couldn't trace them down because they never launched theirs directly. 

"It must've been planned… to dismantle me by making sure they didn't do it directly to prevent me from tracing back the energy signature. Instead, they somehow managed to trick me once they found out they already had a preexistent bomb ready." What a cunning mastermind, indeed. The torch was barely lit, the light from the fire was there but it was not warm. Suddenly the room got more chilly and she realized it was going to take another turn, one she also expected. It wasn't the first thing she tried to force herself into a memory, but it's not easy to do so of course she wasn't going to be prepared. "Knowing me, where would I put the key at…" she muttered to herself, considering how she thinks, it was probably a mental obstacle she couldn't easily fool; a version of herself. "Well, that's the era when I had better hair for sure" she pointed out casually, this Mal is the same, minus whatever warmth and compassion she had which is basically a cold woman through and through. 

Her hair is a lighter shade of ash brown, it reminded her when she was at her darkest. "Technically I didn't light the candle" she shot back and stepped aside so she could see her properly, "Not the threesome you'd imagine, I assume" she whispered teasingly at Sebastian who was still between them. "God what would it take to take down this cheap carbon copy of 1976 me? No wait, it could be a 1843 me…" 

He chuckled at her bluntness when she confirmed she was indeed calling him a pessimist “You and I have seen far too much of the world to be optimists” he wasn’t sure how any sane person could live for as long as they had and still hang on to childish beliefs that things would be better, he preferred to assume the worst and be pleasantly surprised if things were different. He had to admit he was surprised by her asking such a personal question, it had been a long time since they had fought but it still ended on difficult terms, he wasn’t sure if either of them had the right to care about whether the other was dating.

It didn’t stop him from being interested though, he told himself it was mild curiosity but anyone with sense could tell that it was more than that, his world always seemed to center around her when she was here and even when they were apart she was never far from his mind “One huh?” in the grand scheme of time they had been apart, one seemed like very little but also knowing her, one was a lot. Not because there weren’t people who cared for her but because she was extremely good at fielding off anyone that came close “You’d think we’d all learn our lessons but here we are” he commented as he stared back at her, it honestly felt like no time had passed at all.

“I mean...if it was me planning an attack against your people, taking out the strongest players first seems like the way to go” of course he wasn’t actually responsible, nor did he particularly want to entertain the thought of having an entire faction of supernatural chasing him down. Whoever did this, they must have been on the next level of power...or stupidity...he was yet to determine which. “They’ve got you spinning in circles while they move on to their next target” he murmured softly.

From inside the room, he could feel the chill but it wasn’t just cold, it was this feeling that crept up inside you, a certain kind of resentment that made you feel naturally pessimistic. Seeing the two of them standing face to face was certainly odd for him, but he couldn’t help but laugh at Mal’s comment about a threesome “I mean I wouldn’t say no” he teased playfully before straightening up when he spotted the key dangling from the manifest’s finger, she tilted her head slightly as she watched the two of them “The great aspect of magic is celebrating being able to do baby magic, how pathetic” he heard ring before he glanced over at Mal “Somehow I think kicking her ass isn’t going to actually do anything” he whispered.

"Glad you can see the clear picture too" she mumbled under her breath, the world isn't a pretty face and even more so coming from two natural born pessimists like them. But it hits well, it saves them from the impending disappointment when things don't go the way you hoped it would too. Malva used to think that it's a good investment for the future. She didn't expect him to answer her, he could've just brushed it off or even teased her about it, somehow turned it against her, but he didn't.  She cleared her throat and hummed softly in affirmation, "Yeah… one." She stared at the place surrounding them and pursed her lips, "We never learn… that's the problem every single time." But it didn't stop them from coming back for it. Sebastian was right, tactical wise, strategies like what he suggested are not far from the main road, most would go for that. 

Take out the strongest players, which also included the healers and first aid because without them, the soldiers who were injured would be left without any help, no matter how minor the injury they sustained. On this board, which was she? The healer? Or the magician of said group? Maybe both. "But the risk they took is pretty high, I know some go by the book of high risk high return and all but this is something else. It's not a financial step… one slight misstep may end up in someone's demise. So they must've planned this for a long while… to carry it out silently." Because from the way she sees things, it was done quietly. "People who are that strong and brave or stupid are probably those we can count using hands… any guesses?" 

When talking about enemies, the Aspect of Magic definitely had her fair share of them. Mal also noticed the key dangling in the other her's grip, it couldn't have been that easy to get though. "It can't be this easy… I'm not that lenient so kicking her ass won't do anything..." she mumbled to herself and narrowed her bright hues onto the person across them. "I issue a challenge. It's the only way we settle things in a civilised manner anyway" she ignored the teasing because this was barely anything over the surface but it did hurt her pride to hear that. Her weakness has always been her pride and temper. She just had to keep those two under control, hopefully it wouldn't be that hard. "If I win, you give me the key. If I lose, you… can keep tormenting me I guess."

Honestly he was happy that she’d tried to find someone, even if he wished it could be him that managed to get past her walls, him who she would choose, he was glad to know there was still a part of her that was open to love, wanted to let someone in. It was a shame that someone let her down, she’d been through far too much disappointment in her life “If not learning means we’re still...human somehow...then maybe we should never learn” he spoke it softly, perhaps that meant he never wanted to stop repeating the same mistake with her, because it kept her in his life and that was enough for him.

“Then whatever they want to achieve, they must be desperate for it” it was cold and calculated but it was also a big risk like she said, it could have backfired and they could have ended up dead “Or they’re just a complete psychopath who only cares about causing pain and misery to others” he murmured softly, either way it was scary to know that person was still out there and they still hadn’t figured out their endgame. “Surely if we knew them they would have showed face by now...I mean unless we’re talking original diviner” he commented and pressed his lips together, they were something of legend to most but he and Mal had found evidence before that they existed.

“Violence isn’t exactly going to prove anything when it comes to the block in your mind” he commented thoughtfully, this was like the tests that he set for people at the citadel, there was a purpose behind it all, something you had to prove to show that you were worthy of entry, for Octavia he had tested her focus, she was here to support someone else so he wanted to make sure she would choose the living over the dead. The figure stared at them while they talked before tilting her head “That depends on the challenge” she purred with that sickly voice that bothered him so much “It almost seems like this isn’t the first time you’ve yourself” he whispered to Mal.

She should've known things were never going to end up in her favor, and not while she still has feelings for the person in front of her. Did she think she could escape from this? Clearly she had a point of… recollection somehow because it was all there. But secretly, deep down in her, Mal knew no one could hold a candle to Sebastian. At some point, she would always hold the others next to him and see if they match her standards; the very standards he put. It is so hard to move past someone who is still alive. "What an awful conclusion" she shook her head, "At some point even you'd realize mother nature will whack your head straight if you keep making mistakes…" especially when you don't exactly have room nor the privilege to commit another. "Desperation is one thing for sure… it's scary. You know what they say about how desperate people are the ones with nothing to lose, they end up being impulsive and would do anything. Quite literally anything to achieve their goal." 

And if this person is anywhere like what they have described, then god have mercy on all of them because they did succeed in dismantling her for a while. "I'm not sure if I find a psychopath better than someone who is hell bent on getting revenge… which is worse?" Could they even negotiate with a psychopath the same way they could with someone who wants vengeance? Her ears perked up instantly at the mention of an original diviner, "You don't mean…" Is it possible to even narrow their suspects to said person? "Why would they even want this to happen? Did we do something wrong? I mean if someone did something wrong you'd think they'd just eliminate just that one person and not drag the entire world with them." What was the motive? They had to figure that one out. "I have mental tests… I'm over 1200 years old, do I really need to go through this type of thing again? It's getting really old" she huffed, clearly the Aspect of Magic was not a fan of being tested whatsoever. 

She finds it particularly burdensome. And to face this version of her meant she couldn't exactly attempt to outsmart her because she would be able to detect it. When Sebastian said that it seemed like it wasn't the first time she had talked to herself, she glanced over to him and cleared her throat awkwardly, "Not my first time nope… I've met her before and she was not pleasant." The memories of when she tried to trudge carefully in her memory lane came back. "If I managed to get the real key… which by the way I know the one on your hand is fake, seriously I'm offended that you think you'd be able to fool me using that trick, anyway if I do… you'll let us go our way." 

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