Spiraling down to the world of darkness seemed to be Malva's other second option. Bad news, she only seemed to have two options out of the lot. She couldn't sleep without the help of any sleeping induced things, and she couldn't bring herself to keep doing that because she was seeing herself going down the path of unhealthiness and she has always hated putting her dependency on someone or something so solely. Malva Ailward was a stubborn hard-headed woman. What's new. 

Grumbling to herself while mumbling profanities in her mother tongue, Russian, she was skimming through the pages on one of her many books on traditional magic. Traditional magic had been her way to connect with nature since forever ago because it was by far, the only safest play she could barter and gamble with. Although being one of the most difficult since most ingredients needed were no longer existing in a lot of places, it was a solid practice. The Aspect of Magic was a practitioner of traditional and ancestral magic, once upon a time ago. She was familiar with most forms of magic given her experience and abilities, but she was best at ancestral magic. Ancestral magic meant channeling her will at the nature's behest, and sometimes nature favors her. Sometimes.

The word 'sometimes' was highlighted for a reason. A very well reason she always hated to come across. 

But the brunette felt alone. Loneliness wasn't supposed to be a foreign counter, but she's always had Tatiana, her guard, by her side. Ever since she pushed the blonde dhampir away from her sights, up to actually severing their blood pact she had enacted centuries ago. Obviously, Malva didn't want to have any disturbances. And when she wants something done, she'll go through hell and back to make sure it's within her clutches. Stretching out her limbs, the Aspect of Magic closed the book with a loud thud, pushing it away from her peripheral vision as she huffed out in frustration. What she wanted to study was the sacrificial magic, and maybe some other forms that was aligned with the dark arts itself. Not because she was drawn to the darkness, it was more like her trying to figure out what was upon them. Something was coming, and everyone could surely sense it.

There was no use in delaying the inevitable. If she wanted to be ready for whatever it was that was about to come down, she should know what she was dealing with. All was pointing to the dark arts, and so it should be the place she should start with, despite her countering preferences. So, she pulled out a book on connective magic. She wasn't daft enough to perform any such rites in her own room, knowing fully well how one could backfire so easily. Grabbing her jacket, she sneaked out from her balcony and made a quick dash to the woods. A couple of minutes later, she arrived. She then opted for a spot. One hour that passed became hours, until it was already dusk. For someone who disliked the dark arts, Malva was quite used to nights being her medium place.

Next thing she knew, she had the traditional silver dagger that she always used for her spelling purposes, in her right hand. Unsheathing the intimidating dagger, the sharp end of it met her palm, where she made a cut on it. It really shouldn't bother her because it was probably the millionth time she made a cut on herself for her witchcraft purposes. Experimentation was a must for the brunette. The only way to fight fire, was to fight it with hellfire. That was exactly what Malva had in mind. Letting the blood drop on the ground, she closed her eyes and mumbled a few words; no doubt the spell. The wind made itself known, and unknowingly, as she let her blood stain the earth, she was undoing the severed link she did with Tatiana. So, when she cut her palm quite deeply, Tatiana was able to feel the same too. Like old times. It only goes one way however, since the dhampir was always injured due to heavy missions, so the two decided only one should be the agent in the spell. What Malva feels, physically and mentally, so does Tatiana. But not Tatiana to Malva.

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Malva knew she forgot about something but she couldn't quite place what it was, and so she shrugged it off, dismissing it as nothing. As her blood began dripping down touching the soil in the woods, she managed to extract more of it from the deep cut she made earlier. The amount of blood that soon molded into one with the earth itself then shifted slightly. Still keeping her eyes closed, Malva clenched her palm and was about to enact the connective spell, until she sensed a presence and heard an all too familiar voice. Wait, what. She opened one eye and saw the blonde leaning against the tree which was literally behind her. Turning her head around to face the dhampir, she had tilted her head slightly before looking confused. "Well, I knew I forgot something when I tried to perform this spell.." Was what came out early. Supposedly that was supposed to meant offense to the other party seeing as the Aspect of Magic didn't actually call her here.

She ignored the statement and remark that came from the dhampir as she shifted in her position, her right hand still bleeding from the cut, making a small pool of blood before her. "I was trying to do a connective spell.. using my blood, to see how far it could fetch over. Obviously my energy was more than enough to start this conduit to rest seeing as I haven't even started the spell yet." Malva was fascinated and a bit taken aback by the fact that she was able to conduct a spell non-verbally such as this. She had a hand in enacting spells non-verbally, but this one form was the first for her. Since such ritual required utmost attention. The first time she performed this spell centuries ago on both her and Tatiana, she needed to be specific. Multiple questions were raised in her head, such as; has she grown more powerful? Or has it grown too much far beyond her ability? Being powerful is a good thing, but the problems that came with it? Not really. Especially when she's already having problems with controlling it.

But still, she needed to make sure there was no other loophole. So she ignored anything else and proceeded with finishing the spell officially. "Quia de sanguine in venis latet, veni fructum ejus et introitus cum defluit. Nostri foedera significans veritatem, veni autem ut eam per aequa ministra(From the blood that lies within our veins, come forth and entrance it with your wilts. Our bond that signifies our truth, come by to mend it as you will.)" The slightly flaxen haired Ailward had started her first stanza and part of the spell where she then used the same blade to draw a symbol on the soil that had been tainted with her blood. Upon finishing the circling of the symbol, the two candles that she placed on both sides lit itself up with fire. "Uulgum scrutari tuus viam per velamen, ut sequela ad involvent nobis circa nos vocat. Adiuro te per murum, erumpat qualis est motus rubigine caret(Pry your way through the veil, to wrap us around the thread that calls us. Charge your way through the walls, erupt your emotions to rust.)" The Aspect of Magic continued it with the second part of the spell; where both candles started to melt and leave it to the wax that puddles. The melted wax then formed one whole candle, which was obvious a form of alchemy was also induced in this particular spell that Malva took the liberty to create 800 years ago. 

"Vires infra se, nisi unum sumus(Our strength lies within each other, for we are none but one.)" The last line indicated the last of the spell as the melted wax that molded itself into one whole candle lit itself on fire as well. Fluttering her eyes open, her blue orbs met Tatiana's blue ones. Her gaze however, was averted to her bandaged palm. "You've been stabbed and impaled more times than I could count, Tati. Surely a simple deep cut on your right palm wouldn't add itself to your list. Seeing as that one will heal in about-" As the Aspect of Magic brought her palm up to inspect, the cut had magically sewn itself back up like nothing had happened. "Now." She dusted the dirt off her clothes and got up. "I was experimenting on connective magic, and it worked. Perfectly. Seeing as we're both connected now. Obviously I forgot we were on a time out section. But if you would like for me to undo it, I can." She is Malva, and there was no way you were going to get so much as a simple apology from her. Not if you won't push it hard enough.

She'll be thoroughly frank about this whole thing. She didn't like it. No, not in the slightest. And she wondered why she had devised such plan in the first place, if she didn't like the outcome. Oh, right. She wasn't supposed to follow her heart and feelings. All those emotions and empathetic side was the one causing problems for the Aspect of Magic. Malva would not suffer such problems if her emotions are barred off like it used to back in the past. There was a reason why she made sure to keep that side dormant as long as it could take. For someone who wields magic from the tip of her fingers, she was bound to be one emotional creature. And that she was. 

Her emotions became her strength when performing magic. But it also came at a similar amount of price, just as nature would ask for it. A balance. Whilst her emotions proved to be her strength whenever she needed to enact anything, it also became her pain. Sometimes she would be too overwhelmed by the amount of magic she had, she forgot that her emotions were the essential trigger to everything. If she was angry, it was more likely for her to lose control. The same goes when she's upset. Any particular emotion that overwhelms the brunette would make her unstable; i.e. dangerous. Malva remembered locking her emotions off in some place within her own head, a skill she had to study for decades long, just to perfect it. Obviously, it wasn't perfect; seeing as one by one of every emotion she kept away was slowly seeping in. 

And she can't have herself going unstable and erratically unpredictable at times like this. Not now. It wasn't a risk she was willing to take. 

Scoffing at the word 'normal', she cleaned the blood stain that managed to get itself on her jacket with a tissue and got up from the ground, the leaves rustling under her boots. "I'm not sure what definition you're using to go with that word, Tati. Normal is not a privilege people like us get to have. It's way too much of a luxury, and we are supposed to be 'humble' people." She hated that she was too used to be abnormal about everything. For the first two centuries living after being resurrected, Malva was very adamant against everything that contradicts her way but now, she was living with it. Age does wonders, after all. The brunette was experienced with heartaches and tragic breaks, as if it was nothing new anymore. No one should be used to it, it was literally unhealthy. But then again, she wasn't exactly someone who would thrive on a healthy diet. 

"You're here because I decided to be the witch who wanted to experiment today of all days. In a secluded place like the woods, where not one soul will disturb me. I tell you, since Christmas is coming up, everyone is deep in preparation, it's almost overwhelming for me to be around. Who's brilliant idea was it to throw a Christmas Ball in the manor." The sarcasm dripping her voice made it clear she was not in the mood for any festivities, despite loving Christmas. Spending Christmas together with her family throughout the centuries were one of her most favorite things to do, but not this year, she's guessing. She's too busy worrying over impending danger to notice anything colloquial to her daily lifestyle. "And I'm guessing it worked. So now we're back to being twins all over again. I'm not sure if that's well with you." Grumbling to herself, she walked out, leaving Tatiana to trail behind her, knowing fully well that the blonde dhampir would follow her. 

"Honestly, your mother gave me a pep talk. It's long overdue but what do I care. It's been months since our split and I hate to see it happen. But it had to. And while it was my fault mainly, I'll tell you that I didn't regret doing that." Turning around to face the blonde, she pursed her lips lightly before continuing. "Regretting doesn't make it better. It only means I know I'll be burdened by the fact knowing I could regret all day and still would not be able to change what happened. So if you really want me to answer anything that's on your mind, go ahead and shoot. Maybe I could offer some revelation." 

She knew this day was going to come. But what she didn't expect, was for it to come gracing them so early. Yes, this is way too early for her. Although she was sure it has been months long, it was still too soon for the brunette Ailward Aspect. It was unnerving, per say. Quirking her eyebrows feigning offense towards the dhampir, she couldn't help but to scoff. "Oh really now? Us being back to creepy freaky twins bounded by blood magic is normal? God damn, Tati. I know you're weird but never thought you'd be this whole new level of weird. Are you sure you're well?" The sarcasm that laced her voice was more than enough to tell the dark haired dhampir that the Aspect of Magic was being highly practical in her snark. But then again, what's new when it comes to her? Exactly.

"Let me guess, since we didn't send you out for any missions, because well, it's Christmas so wouldn't want to burden your memories with bad escapades during such a festive season, you ended up scorching into your Netflix land? Tell me you did not binge watch Gossip Girls again. I swear that would've been your 6th time." Malva is quite the attentive person when she wanted to be, so yes it wasn't a weird occurrence to see the purple dragon noting her personal guard's habits. Habitual rights are the least of what she had her hands on. But then again, what Malva has been doing all this far long in the months she's left others in the dust, was search and dig. Not that it has proved to be dandy for her. No candy for Halloween and it didn't seem like she was all so keen to get any ornaments for Christmas in this. Her leads were leading her nowhere. 

"I will need a Christmas miracle to get through this year, honestly. Illi had me hang a few Christmas lights at the roof, which I fell down by the way. Engulfing myself in the white heap of snow that tasted like semi-decent ice sandpaper." She grumbled, still not liking the fact that the pregnant commander of their guard managed to bat her puppy eyes into making her do such bidding. "So it WAS her idea. I thought my siblings went off the course and became a whole new persona." Mal loves Christmas, with the exception of the whole Yule season being very effective for her magic hour. Because it always meant trouble will follow somewhere across the world. One time she'd enjoy sipping her eggnog in the living room, and the other minute she'd hear the mischief caused by under aged witches in Norway. No wonder she's as grumpy as the Grinch.

While they were trudging through the woods, she pursed her lips slightly as she heard the pending question coming from the dhampir. "Your mother is always the mood, Tati. But I swear, even I wanted to lock her away in a safe and send it into the Mediterranean Sea." Then it came down to her question that she found it hard to answer but forced it either way. "I'm afraid, that's all. I wasn't sure if my head is screwed up or something, but there were definitely some loose screws somewhere in there. Not rhetorically okay.. I forgot a few stuff and I feel like there was something that I was hiding from myself. At least, past me from this present me or the future me. Anyways, I've been trying to crack it down but me being the genius I was decided it was better to keep it somewhere in between my bitter memories. I delved into it once and I still get nightmares of it till today, so I figured better not. I didn't want to burden you with it. But you are right, it's more than that. I traced back to what happened to the Isle of Skye. The destruction. As I've said it before when it fell, I couldn't find any trace of magic being used. That's because the energy used was Celestial energy. Somehow the form of magic was shrouded by a cloaking or something. It's multiple layers and I had to retrace it one by one. The problem is, we have more things to worry about. Our defenses in this city is only a thin layer compared to what this mysterious diviner did. He or she is powerful, which means they could have channeled a whole coven too. Why do you think I'm afraid? Someone is this knowledgeable and I have no idea who it was? How did it even escape my notice when they enact the spell? With that much energy, I should've been able to sense the disturbance. Unless of course, it's not a disturbance, so there's that." It was clear that the Aspect of Magic was very burdened by this.

Malva would be lying if she affirmed to the state where she didn’t even miss her personal guard at all. Because let’s be honest, the Aspect of Magic who didn’t have a lot of people to go to initially, cares a lot for the people she had within her friendly vicinity. Tatiana was one of them. The few months haven’t been well or lenient on her, unfortunately. She’s been struggling in trying to get a hold of her magic decently and direct them to a much more moderate space. That didn’t usually happen, but somehow, it happens a lot more frequently these days. So much, that it was actually starting to scare and freak Malva out. She still couldn’t shrug everything off so easily as she usually could, because the side effects almost always seemed to stick to her like a thorn on her side. Not this time.

Staring at the blonde dhampir, she sighed heavily as she wiped the blood stain off from her sleeves that got caught a wind in the trickles of blood dripping from her palm earlier, using her handkerchief. Says a lot of how old-fashioned the Aspect of Magic actually was. Truly. And she wouldn’t say that it wasn’t a bad thing, because sometimes what they needed was a reminder of who they were. “You think almost every Netflix drama is a classic.” Rolling her eyes at the dhampir, she shook her head in response as she clicked her tongue before skimming through the pages of her spell journal. She was actually thinking of more forms of magic she could experiment on. While still conversing with her guard that clearly has quite a lot pent up in her. Better not to waste the time, right?

“Yes, I, Malva Ailward, actually took part in something so normal. Contrary to your beliefs, I actually have my own time to sort around. As I have actually done, for the past few months. It’s not easy, but it’s there. Somewhat.” Narrowing her bright blue hues, she averted the gaze she had trained on the dhampir back to her spell journal, and let out a small cheer when she found the next one she was about to gear on. She took a seat on the ground again, before getting out another candle from her bag. Her bag is basically everyone’s jealousy incarnate. It could store almost up to everything with endless compartments and space to occupy it. It’s what happens when you’re a big mood on being a witch. Making yourself convenient would be one of the perks.

As she lit it up on fire easily, she held it within her left hand while shrugging at Tatiana’s words. “I would be cheerful..maybe. If I don’t have any problem with being done with the world almost 24/7, which I am.” Surprisingly the cold wind did not blow the fire that was lit earlier. It stayed. Probably had something to do with Malva, as her optics followed the fire that was dancing before her eyes. Listening to Tati talking about how she was the better listener, she sighed and thought the moment had finally come. Dropping the candle on the leaves she gathered earlier, the leaves started to burn gradually. But slowly. “Because you are my best friend, is the reason why I wanted to spare you the trouble. Like you said. You’re my guard, but you’re also my best friend. A guard is all by professional terms, they’re expendable to many terms to be thrown to. But if it was your friend, I can’t throw you into the fire.” As soon as she spoke that, she unclasped the Burmese ruby pendant that was in her pocket earlier and threw it into the fire.

Despite the cold, the fire burned brightly. “Look at that fire. Imagine it’s the danger we’ve all been so afraid of, that looms over us, just waiting for the right moment to attack and yet we couldn’t do anything to stop it, because it’s eventually inevitable. If we could do anything about it, believe me Tati, we would’ve.” It was then that Malva swiped her hand above the fire and it suddenly died down in an instance. But the malevolent looking pendant still laid there untouched and unharmed. “Kind of like that. See, it’s not hurt at all. It’s still as perfect as new.” She pointed to the pendant before crossing her arms. “What we could do now, is keep a perimeter patrol. Whoever it was, they have a powerful diviner on their side. Someone who was able to combine and correlate through tapping into other energy. Modern day witches or warlocks don’t do that. They don’t learn about the dark arts that advanced. And if they could outsmart me, then we’d best be careful.” Her blue orbs fell down on the ruby pendant as she bit her bottom lip. “Because they did outsmart me. And I’m afraid what’s to come next because my siblings were literally the targets.”


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