A week ago, Malva had went to a small brief trip to Marseille with Draco. Yes, Draco d'Fierro. As in the famed phoenix line, d'Fierros. She didn't went straight to Antonio of course, knowing well that the phoenix might or might not be able to keep his mouth sealed. The last thing Malva wants to do is to use a spell to make sure it stays a secret. Illiana wouldn't like that. And the Aspect of Magic cared more than she would lead to think when it comes to relationships. Loyalty has been her best trait after all. Though patience unfortunately, was not.

She knew she had to go back there one way or another and unfortunately for her again, she had to plan this trip thoroughly. Well, it's more to her escape. She was intercepted by Gabriel the first time and it was only luck that Draco was even there for her to place the victim card on him. "Well this had better work..or I'll probably spend the next week locked up in my room with frequent visitors." she found herself mumbling as she slowly twisted the door knob of her room and peeked her head outside. No one was in the hallway or the stairs obviously. It was clear that other than a few, the others didn't really want to take the chance to actually be anywhere near the hallways on the highest floor. For a good reason too. It was where the Aspect of Death, Light, Elements and Magic's rooms were at.

You don't really wanna be around if any of them didn't exactly have a good day. It's practically a suicide.

Locking her door, she made her way downstairs quickly, trying her best not to make a sound. She succeeded because fortunately for her, Gabriel wasn't home today. She literally sprinted her way to the entrance door, where she escaped to the backyard and opened a portal to his place. He can't exactly waltz in there like he was welcomed. Hurts but that seems to be the current truth as of the moment. Still remembering her manners, Malva knocked on the door a few times before she waited outside. She opened her spell journal and flipped through a few pages as she waited for him. Now, she wasn't even sure she thought bringing him along was a good idea when she was sure it probably wasn't. He just got stabbed and poisoned all in the same night a week ago, and now she's literally going to another country without any guards. 

She wasn't worried about her own well being. She's the Aspect of Magic, and she didn't think magic is something anyone wants to be hit with. not even witches, no. Since everyone including her family of dragons were susceptible to the very element. Luckily for her, she's got plenty from where that came from and didn't need a spell book to save her. She couldn't say the same for him though. She does truly hope, no harm will come to him again.

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It had been sometime since Benjamin had seen Malva while he healed. The Aspect of Magic had others things to do Ben was sure of it and he had his own life and work to focus on which is what he did. Work was always insane and there was so much social interaction and things to do that he didn’t have much time to dwell on Malva or even think too much on the journal she was now reading. The human having a lot of questions since he had pulled up the security feed of his home which his intruders couldn’t be seen on since there was an odd glow around them likely due to magic which hid their features.

Benjamin had upped his security at his home and had every intention of asking Malva for some sort of boundary spell. After all that seemed to best way to keep unwanted visitors out since now he had nothing anyone else would want and they might just kill him when they figured that out. Death was not something he wanted to welcome this early on his life, he was only thirty-four after all and still had a lot of life to go. Or at least he hoped that he would have many years to come since given the city and his position there was no telling what his new life expectancy was. It wasn’t just his grandfather’s past or his involvement with Malva Ailward it was being a human in Evermore and more importantly the City Defense General.

Benjamin had only gotten home an hour or so before, showered, changed and was laying back on his couch with the TV playing the news in the background as he read over a report he had been given earlier in the day. It was beginning to put him to sleep as his eyes drifted slowly closed before there was a knock on his door which caused him to jump the report falling to the ground. “Give me a minute!” He yelled out before sitting up on the couch and collecting the fallen pages and putting them back together before resting them on his coffee table. Standing he raised his hands above his head and stretches before padding towards the door in his socks.

Looking out of the peek hole he could see Malva standing on his stoop. Opening the door he gave her a friendly smile, “You know? You’ve got really good manners. Come in.” He replied motioning passed him at the open door. “You ought to know you’re way around.” He joked lightly wondering exactly what had brought her here. Maybe she was checking in on him or maybe she had found something in the journal, he was going to find out within the next few minutes he was sure.

“As you can see I haven’t died in recent days so I’m doing pretty good.” He answered without her even having to ask how he was doing since he knew she wasn’t the best with pleasantries. “But given the fact that I’m sure my charm hadn’t alerted you to any danger on my end since I’ve been trying to avoid it. So what brings you here Malva since I doubt it’s just a check up even if we’re working on this whole friends thing.”

While she was deeply immersed into the book that she was holding, the sound of the door opening caused her to avert her eyes off the book and onto the person in front of her instead. Reciprocating his kind gesture with her own, she returned the smile and accepted the word of compliment he threw her way. "Thank you..It seemed to be one of the few things that I picked up from my past life that actually held a good amount of significance. Manners maketh man, they say. Or at least, that's what William Wykeham said. Can't say he's wrong." Entering his home once he had invited her in, she closed her book and placed it back into its original position. "He's right about how much effect it leaves on impression." She then, leaned against the wall not far off from where they were currently at. 

Her clothes clearly indicated that she was going somewhere. That somewhere being France. Look at the way she's holding it up, they've known each other for a month or so and she's already taking him with her on a trip to another country that is also half way across where they are right now. "I hope you don't have anything to do today, because we're going somewhere. Long story short. From North America to Europe. From Colorado to Marseille. Our destination is the famed city of love..well not really. That's technically just Paris, but Marseille's close. It's just as extravagant and luxurious as Paris. One of supernatural night markets too. Shocking, I know. Who would have known France could hold such a place on night markets." He probably did not know of that, considering he is a human and it didn't seem to her, that he needed any information on supernatural night markets. That's already shady enough for supernatural creatures, much less humans.

"Before you could ask, no, it's definitely not me doing magic grocery shopping there. My uh-acquaintance, he used to hold a few magical business back then and I've been reaching out to him about the spell book we found. I was going to go alone but the last time I went there, it didn't went so well for me considering as some people still remember how much wreckage Tatiana caused in the late 17th century. Besides, I thought you would like to come. He might have met your grandfather because this spell book was left in Marseille back in the 17th century by me. And the ones I entrust on the stuff there was on Antonio Cailleau. I would like to know how your grandfather managed to get his hands on it." Then again, she finds it more than understandable that he would be reluctant to travel with her. Especially, when she is going portal jumping. And that does not really go well with most people. Possibly because it causes nausea and other stuff coming from the same branch of the problem. 

"I would check up on you if I didn't have other things to do..not that you're not important-it's just that being Aspect of Magic, well..it's quite the feat. I have to be solving magic problems across the world at morning and by noon, I'll have to sort out supernatural council meetings between my siblings and I, though it doesn't seem like any of them are quite present these days. By night, I'm solving this. I'm a busy woman, Benjamin. Though, I think you know that. But, at least you're in better position than my other list of friends outside my faction circle. Let's take my vampire acquaintance, Antonio Cailleau. I met him twice and I literally did not come back until a week ago where I had to go grocery shopping for some things at his apothecary." She was quite amused by the fact that she's grown fond of his company for the past month. It wasn't something familiar per say for the Aspect of Magic. Malva AIlward doesn't handle relationships and friendships that well, probably due to her second nature of just pushing people away because it's deemed 'easier'. "No need to bring anything with you of course. We're portal jumping. I don't think I would want to fly for 5,279 miles off just to see the old guy. And I don't think you would want to spend all those hours all stiff in the plane. It's an easier path, but nothing comes without a price. Don't worry, it's not..that problematic. I mean..you've been stabbed and poisoned so this one won't bother you." Despite the smile she was wearing held no malicious intent, the words weren't so convincing for him.

Malva was still reading something which wasn’t that big of a surprise it seemed she was always looking for new knowledge and what they were seeking. “We all learn something for our past, whether good or bad but at least you kept something that sticks with you and others.” He responded while motioning her inside once again reminded she was far more cultured than he was but that wasn’t really a part of his childhood. “That’s pretty true since acts stay with a person more than words ever can.” Which was why he always tried to do his best and what was right regardless of the words which sometimes left his lips since that couldn’t always be helped.

The Aspect was dressed casually enough but it spoke of a change in temperature since she was dressed far too warmly for Colorado at this time of year. He would say maybe she was cold natured but he knew better given her attire the last few meetings. “You hope I don’t have anything to do today?” He asked curiously before she continued on stuck on the words ‘we’re going’. “We’re going to Marseille?” Though it being the city of love was not something he was sure about, “I was pretty sure you were just making that one up.” He said which a chuckle though he was pretty interested in the night markets, “Are night markets like the human black market?” The black market he understood, well to a point anyway, night markets he didn’t know anything about but that probably stemmed from the simple fact that he was human.

“I wasn’t going to ask, I assume you wouldn’t take me for something so simple. Not that I’m necessarily a big gun compared to those you know which meant you don’t want this made a big deal out of.” He said as he crossed his arms over his broad chest though her words of her guard did amuse him until she said that Antonio may have known his grandfather and then his celestial hues widened slightly at the fact that was going to allow him to do along for that purpose. “I think we’d all like to know the answer to that question since a human hiding or defending a powerful and supernatural object isn’t really the norm.” Especially since humans tended to have less strength and know how on how to go about hiding those sort of objects.

A brow rose as she explained why she hadn’t stopped back by and he waved off her reasoning since he understood. She was far too busy to baby him and check on him everyday and honestly he didn’t need or want that anyone. The first day yes since being alone on morphine and sleeping potions probably wasn’t the best of combinations but after that he had been fine. “You have your own life Malva and I have mind, the world doesn’t stop spinning because one of us is hurt. Given you just got your hands on the journal I figured you’d be pretty immersed in it while trying to understand what my grandfather left. I still have works and other responsibilities too so it wasn’t a big deal.” It was an odd feeling that she actually seemed to want him around or she was just feeling guilty for what had happened to his grandfather but either way he appreciated and rather liked it. He didn’t had the greatest number of friends and he had the feeling she didn’t either so this little team up seemed to be something they both needed. “Might not need to bring anything with me but I might need to change or at least put on shoes.” He said with a chuckle as he looked down at his sweatpants, plain white t-shirt and socked feet.

“Going to guess portal jumping comes with its own set of pros and cons since you said it has it’s own price.” He said looking towards her knowing she wasn’t telling him something in that regard so he wasn’t sure if she was hoping for the best or what. Padding through the house he headed towards his room to find something that would be considered normal day wear opposed to his gym or lounging attire he was currently wearing. Despite being poisoned and stabbed he wasn’t the kind of person who wanted to feel that kind of way, out of it or physically ill but she was right it was the easier and faster way to travel in this case. Grabbing a pair of jeans, a blue button down long sleeve shirt and a pair of responsible shoes before closing his bedroom door to change. After a few minutes he walked back out changed and with his hair a little less devil may care. “Guess a little discomfort never killed anyone.” He muttered in response to portal travel.

Once he came back, she could only shrug. "Portal jumping is not the best idea to most. I'll be honest, it wasn't supposed to be one. It's usually a last resort. I'm used to it because I am the one who created it, but even then, it doesn't mean I'm comfortable with it. It took me hundreds of tries just to make sure I don't end up throwing my guts out every time. Most of the time, I don't even end up where I actually envisioned myself to go. Guess there's a first time for everything.. Ending up getting lost in Antartica doesn't seem to take the shot, does it? The weather and temperature there was way too underrated by most..At least it's better than Rome. Could've sworn it was the first hatred at sight I have for the colosseum." She shuddered at the mere memory of it. It was so long ago but she could still remember and feel the hatred bubbling up inside her because she couldn't get out there even after a dozen tries. Of course, she ended up flying away but it wasn't before she had spent at least over a week there. 

"But-- I have prepared a little something for our journey. Just in case you got in the first category who really had bad tummy sickness when they undergo portal jumping. "Fortunately, it doesn't taste bad. Lucky for you, I only remembered to create this when only a week ago so you should be the second one to try it. Hopefully, you won't be needing it but something tells me, you're gonna need it eventually." With that, Malva took out a small bottle that held a crystal clear fluid stored up. It depends on the person who takes it what color it would transform next. To Mal, it's purple, her signature color. "No, but the discomfort does make you wonder sometimes, why you haven't killed yourself yet." And yet again, she was never a person who's good at the set of positivity. If people could see the amount of negativity that surrounded her, they would mistake her as some kind of deranged witch who hates everything, not caring if it's living nor non-living. 

A few moments later, she closed her eyes and her breath became slow paced as she pictured their destination. The moment she fluttered her eyes open, it was no longer its natural usual blue color, but it was a dark yet bright indigo color beaming instead. It kind of made her look more intimidating then she already was but she does have two sides of the coin. One could see her like a harmless young girl and the other could see her as the biggest threat ever due to her composure and cover. Her right hand seemed to circle the air before her when suddenly, a purple spark of electricity started to form from its small size, building up to a bigger one. Soon, it was big enough for an entry. That is when the color disappeared from her eyes and her hand stopped moving. "You go first. I can't risk losing you if you went after me..probably because I won't have an idea where the hell you'd end up at. Though you have your phone with you, I don't think it's gonna be pleasant if you end up in some castle or palace that's heavily guarded." 

Waiting for him to enter, she trailed behind him. Once they were at their destination, which was in some alley in France. Definitely Marseille, thankfully. The breath of familiarity washed itself upon her and she had a small smile. The portal closed itself and she beckoned for him to follow her, making sure he won't end up lost in the crowd. "Blending in is important but I wouldn't worry much, since there's not really many humans in this part. It's a walk-through to the night market. Well..I guess you will have to stick close. You'd rather have yourself lost with humans instead of these people, trust me. They're not that hostile but they're not welcoming either. Come on." She grabbed a hold of his arm and dragged him with her until she stopped at a joint path. Going through the right path, she turned her head to face him next to her. "It doesn't look like a night market. Since it's not really night yet. I'd wait after the dusk, that is where all the fun begins. Besides, it's heavily cloaked. So the humans would not notice a difference here." The shops were fairly ordinary. Until the night comes, of course. 

"We're here." After a few minutes of walking, they came to face a big fancy luxurious looking shop at the end of the road. It doesn't look shady or weird enough to resemble your 'ordinary and usual' apothecary. She twisted the door knob and opened the entrance door. The shop was quite spacious and there, it was home to so many ingredients, may it be herbal or even objects. "Don't touch anything, you don't want to end up touching a cursed object." She reminded him and walked in as if it was her own place. No one was there, so the atmosphere was very quiet. It was just them both. "Laura." She called out, her voice ringing very clearly through every corner. "Je suis ici. (I'm here.)" A blonde haired female emerged from one of the corners and greeted Malva with a bright smile. "Mal, it's good to see you again. I wasn't here last week and I missed the chance to speak to you. I'm glad you've come again. Who's this?" It seems like Benjamin had caught her interest as she took a peek. "A friend. Is Antonio here?" She asked, trying to push her attention elsewhere since she really didn't want Laura to bother much. "He's not available, unfortunately. But- he will attend the preparation for the eve of le Festival de Marseille tonight. You should stay to see it, Mal. You always liked festivals."

Malva wasn't sure if they could stay but Laura was right, she liked the festivals. And one of the le Festival de Marseille had good shows from witches and every supernatural kind at their area. Surely, staying for a while wouldn't hurt. It wasn't as if they had a plane to catch. "We'll see, Laura. It's not up to just me, I'm not alone as you can see." 

As Malva went into a deeper explanation of portal jumping he felt his stomach lurch already not too keen on the idea of what was to come. If even Malva had to get use to it and still wasn’t necessarily comfortable with it then it made it hard for Benjamin to see the positive side too it other than the lack of hours on a plane. “Sorry I stopped listening after you said ‘throwing my guts out’ so I’m just going to nod and smile since that’s about all I’ve got right now.” Benjamin didn’t fear much in life and he didn’t fear the idea of portal jumping it just put him on edge since he didn’t fully understand it and how it worked. However he knew he could do this and the consequences or side effects of it wouldn’t be life threatening or Malva wouldn’t put him in that position, that he trusted and he trusted her.

“I’m hoping that if I can manage to jump from a perfectly good airplane while sky diving then I should be okay. Even if it’s going to be like that spinning ride at the state fair I think I’ll be alright.” Of course that was all just a thought since they hadn’t started their travels yet but if he could get through the poison and morphine then he did believe he could do this. “But I’ll just hold onto this just in case.” Since it was never a bad idea to be prepared and she was right it might come in handy, “The fact that you think I’m going to need it eventually does kind of make me nervous if we’re being honest. And for being a medic, your bed side manner really needs some work since that was not a very good commercial life sale on portal travel.” He looked at the small bottle which seemed to shift to a sky like blue which matched his eyes as he lifted it up to look at it before pocketing it for later use.

Benjamin had yet to see the Aspect of Magic actually create a portal but he had been out the last few times she had done so in his presence so he couldn’t help but be intrigued as he watched. The blue of her eyes taking on an almost glowing hue of a stunning indigo, more on the purple side than blue, much different from her natural shade. Her hand circled before he could actually feel the power in the air and began to sizzle purple sparks igniting in the air before the portal began to form. “I appreciate that since being the Defense General of Evermore City doesn’t tend to get me very far in other countries let alone corded off and highly secure areas. Taking a deep breath he slowly began to exhale as he walked through the portal felling a weird energy and pulling like sensation going through his body his stomach clenching for a moment before relaxing as he returned to start breathing again.

Malva was soon joining him in they alley and he waited her instructions since this was her mission so to speak, he was merely along for the ride. As Malva explained their current situation he had no inclination to wander off or leave her even before her warning though as she took his arm and began to drag him he couldn’t help but roll his eyes before shifting it so his arm was around her shoulders which seemed much less suspicious. “Not sure if you all usually go pulling humans around but it might be a little easier to blend if you didn’t.” He teased her softly before listening to what she had to say about the night market which actually made a lot of sense. “Something tells me this isn’t a place humans want to wander alone, especially at night.” Since peace was something only known to Evermore, in placed like Marseille humans were still nothing more than food or entertainment. It was easy to get spoiled to the ways of Evermore but it was easy to remember that the rest of the world wasn’t that kind towards his species.

The Aspect had spoken the truth though, none of these builds or shops looked anything but normal, however looks were often deceiving. “Wow.” He muttered as he looked at the large shop Malva was indicating which didn’t seem like a place he would go into without the encouragement of someone else since it seemed far too rich for his blood. As they entered his eyes were drawn in countless directions at once as he wanted to look at everything though Malva’s warning was clear as he took his arm back and began to just observe the items while staying close to the Aspect. Clearly she had been here many times given the ease she moved about the building seeming to know how to called for as she spoke a name and called out in French. Her words were some of the few he understood as he looked at some of the charms which were for sale. Though as a woman who he assumed to be Laura appeared a conversation began, at first he just listening keeping to himself before she asked who he was. “Benjamin.” He offered in greeting extending his hand before Malva gave him a chilling look which told him to be quiet. With drawing his hand he gave the woman an apologetic smile. The woman spoke of a festival and he could feel Malva’s indecision.

Ben had never really gotten to enjoy festivals while on deployment in other countries due to always being busy on base so he wouldn’t mind staying. Everything with his job back in Evermore could be rescheduled if necessary, none of it was a matter of life or death. “We can stay. I can’t really think of anything else we have to do.” Besides he’d made the commitment of seeing this through and if who Malva needed wasn’t here now then they would just have to wait. That and he could tell she wanted to stay, her eyes and lit up for just a second at the mention of a festival and he liked when she allowed herself to more than Malva Ailward the Aspect of Magic and let her walls down a bit to be herself the way he was sure she had once been before the world and life hardened her.

Malva knew better than anyone that she was a natural pessimist. Who had a very hard time grasping the idea of being positive. Old habits tend to die hard, after all. At one point, she decided to just give up and leave it to the nature to settle. She noticed slightly, that she might given off a cold impression to Benjamin as she gave him a look when he tried to offer his hand. It wasn't as if she didn't want him to mingle around, she wouldn't care less. But not with Laura. She'd explain later on. However, she felt so thankful and grateful to hear that Benjamin didn't mind staying for a while longer, just in time for the preparations of the festivals. There was a different light that Malva have came to discover centuries ago when it comes to supernaturals and celebrations. They have their own way of celebrating it. Especially if it was something cultural. Though, she had to admit, the brief memory of him wrapping his arm around her shoulder while deeming it as the most appropriate move for blending in crowds, was still shaking her up. Bear in mind, she doesn't really get any chance of skin ship for a reason. Probably due to the very reason he has made to comment a few times; that she was pushing and closing people away before they could even move pass the stage of being a friend. Suffice to say, his sudden movement just a while ago gave her a sense of comfort, weirdly enough. 

"I guess we could stay... Seeing the preparations should be his first experience." She noted and Laura proceeded by leaving them after giving her a smile. Malva turned to walk into one aisle where she ran her hands through the various range of enchantments. It was mostly in the form of jewelries and stones. "Beautiful, isn't it. But looks can be quite deceiving. They're not cursed objects but they could be if the witch who owns them wanted them to be." Pulling up a very simple yet pretty looking necklace out from the bunch, Malva held it from a distance. "Oh.. It's safe for you to touch, of course." She had forgotten to tell him that. She knew how it must be overwhelming for him but sometimes, new knowledge doesn't always have to be scary all the time. Accompanying the sense of being frightened, there is also fun in there somewhere. Once she was sure they were left alone, she started talking about why she wasn't so keen on letting him converse with Laura. Not before making sure she had cloaked their conversation of course. Call her paranoid but she has been in the field for long and she knew, despite being acquainted with some others, she didn't really give out her trust so easily. Which came to her as a surprise, seeing as she was able to somehow gave Benjamin hers. 

"I'm sorry about earlier. It's just that I didn't want you to go march into something inevitable. Laura, much like her master, Antonio.. They're vampires. While Antonio is old enough to actually get a hold of something called self-control, Laura wasn't so much on the board. I remember the last time she tried to take a bite out of me. She's still considered a new one since she had been a witch before. She wanted to be around Antonio for a while longer because her ancestors had helped Antonio manage this apothecary. But, a witch could only live up to maybe 150 at most. I'm not sure. But at some point, her health began to deteriorate slowly. As much as I would like to help her given that she was a brilliant witch with potential, I couldn't. I can't just give her an immortality charm. Oh ya, that's an actual thing. As an Aspect, I am not supposed to be showing any favouritism in that scale. At least, until I had a council discussion with my siblings, of course. So, Antonio took the liberty to turn her into something like him. It was hard to control her at first but he got a hang of it. Eventually, she got better. Of course, I'm just saying, if she could smell a human in front of her, she won't just pass you off with a simple greeting and the smile of hers. I manipulated the essence around you, replacing it with that of a dhampir since they're not that different. Only works as long as I'm in close range though. But if she had shaken your hand, she would have sensed it and well. Cover's blown. And I hate to have to knock her out."

Sometimes, she wasn't sure if she was naturally so blunt or it was part of her defense mechanism. She's gonna go with the first, seeing as it's always been there. "I don't really want to suffer a bloody day in Marseille. It's given me a lot of enjoyable memories." She clicked her tongue, chuckling at the mere idea of someone with her attitude liking France. "Despite the exterior, France is quite the shady place for supernaturals. I guess it's easy path since humans came for vacations and whatnot. Better than Italy and New Orleans, at least." The light haired Aspect shrugged as she moved on further into the aisle. Turning around to face him, despite the height difference, she gave him a soft look. "I surely hope I won't lose you. The way you're treated back in Evermore isn't really the same kind of treatment you'll receive here. Evermore is a good example of unity. But. ...the rest of the world.. Well-they have yet to accept it. They view humans at the bottom line of the hierarchy system. And food chain, of course. It's always been that way for quite a while, I'd guess it was from a few personal vendetta towards your kind. They didn't exactly serve the best examples back in our times. Understandable because they're afraid and when you're afraid, you do stupid things and would not think it through since you're influenced by your emotions." The conversation was going quite gloomy, but thankfully Malva noticed as she replaced her look that with a smile. 

"It's not really a big deal though. Look at you, a human, who'd supposed to be at the bottom line of the hierarchy and there's me, the Aspect of Magic, who's honestly at the top line of the hierarchy. And yet here we are, being friends with each other despite both our past hatred for each others' kinds. You despised the idea of supernaturals because of the bad examples some of us showed and I had a big hatred towards yours due to the past. Hopefully, the world can find a way to understand that kind of concept soon. There's too much problems and I can't even begin to describe how broken the world is."

It was clear that Malva was a bit surprised at his willingness to stay in the city but it was something they both needed. Besides it was rare the softer side of Malva emerged which given what he had seen of her past and the small bits she had spoken of. Most was filled with doom and gloom and yet beneath the hardened exterior she did truly care about others outside of her own element despite not wanting to. Given how hurt and betrayed she has been in the past he couldn’t blame her for keeping a distance but it seemed odd she was so quick to shut him down on being introduced to Laura but he had learned that everything Malva did came with a reason. 

Benjamin did enjoy festivals and fairs it just wasn’t often that he was able to enjoy either and given Malva’s reaction he was sure it would be well worth it. “As they say, there’s a first time for everything.” He gave Laura a kind smile before she left the two in the shop and he remained close to Malva as she began to move down one of the aisle. Sky blue hues trailed over the jewelry which was on display he had the feeling if it was truly dangerous it wouldn’t be left out in such a way anyone could become harmed. Then again this was France and not Evermore so it was hard to tell. His hues shifted to Malva as she spoke, “But they could also be used for good like the charm you gave me. Like you said, there’s two sides of magic but it all comes with a cost.” Taking the necklace carefully from Malva’s hand he held it out towards her in comparison with her skin tone. “It would look good on you.” Ben simple stated before placing it back where Malva had gotten it since despite the jewelry and enchantments he had seem in her room he had only ever seen the necklace with her two charms on it. 

As the Aspect began to speak of Laura his eyes moved towards the area she had disappeared to. As usual, Malva had good reason for wanting him to stay in the background and keep to himself. The last thing he wanted to do was put Malva in a position where she had to upset or alienate a potential ally especially when they still needed info. “Thank you. I’m not here to make things harder on you and I didn’t realize my presence alone was going to cause you extra effort.” Which actually made him feel bad about agreeing to come but in the same turn he didn’t want her alone either. “I’d rather you not have to knock her out either so I’ll just stick close and refrain from touching people.” 

Nodding at her blunt reasoning for wanting to keep from causing conflict he didn’t really say anything at first. After all, he didn’t know what to say. “I know that I’m so far out of my depths that it isn’t funny and that out in the real world I’m vulnerable and nothing to the supernatural pyramid of hierarchy. Evermore and the rest of the world are completely different which means I’m not going to conduct myself the same way here as I would at home.” Here he needed to blend and fit in along with staying close to the only ally he had in the city. Malva was his safe place and to wander away would likely mean he wouldn’t be making it back to Evermore in one piece. “I can’t really blame anyone for the views they have on humans since history has shown we turn on what we don’t understand and seek to destroy what’s different. I can’t change the past but I have changed the only thing I’m in control of which is my way of thinking. But I do wish that Unity of Evermore would become more wide spread but it took so much blood and death for that to even become possible.” A heavy sigh left him as he thought of the cost which was paid to pave the road for the current peace treaty.

A smile did curve his lips as Malva called him her friend. For some it might not seem like a big deal but for them it was progress. “We aren’t our pasts and despite them we’ve managed to pull together. Not many can say that or know that the person beside really would have their backs when things get bad.” After all he might not be immortal or as strong as Malva but that didn’t mean he wouldn’t do everything in his limited power to help her. “So,” He started, changing the subject, “What sort of festival are we staying for?” He inquires as he looked at a small brassy looking bracelet which seemed to have been created in the form of leafed vines.

When he took the amethyst necklace from her hand and held it close to her, she raised her eyebrows at him. "Such a flatterer, aren't you, sir?" She scoffed, shaking her head slightly, followed by soft chuckles. He truly was one amusing person. At least, by far, he hasn't really made her annoyed, which for her, was a personal record since Malva Ailward doesn't really tolerate much. "Some said purple's my color." She shrugged. "Probably because that's the color I am affiliated with for so long. That, or sapphire since it was supposed to match my eyes and whatnot. Can never get used to all those compliments. Sometimes, I wonder if they were giving it out of obligations and courtesy only." In all honesty, Malva does cherish her trips throughout the whole world. It was a new experience every day despite being at the same country for so many times, already. 

"yeah..I'm not so keen on knocking anyone out, truthfully. Too much work." And yes, Malva Ailward could also be as lazy as a sloth, if not worse, when she wants to be. As it has been said before, she is the one side of the coin or the other, no in betweens. "I never really truly see magic as something that was dissipated into two sides. There's only one. Where there's light, there will always be darkness just as well. One side cannot exist without the other. Just like how it's impossible to have a world that is all light with no hint of darkness anywhere. "A cost that I am willing to pay..or has paid. It's nothing foreign, honestly. I guess you get tedious about it after so long." The Aspect of Magic wasn't sure if she was going to be the person she was for a few more centuries on the future. She was thinking it thoroughly and never got the chance to resume the thoughts since she was a bit preoccupied at the said moment. She didn't think she could do her duty just as effectively as she could before. Maybe, the age has finally caught up to her to the point where she felt extremely tired.

Or, it could be due to the main factor, which was sleep deprivation and countless others more. "I don't like Evermore..In fact, I hated it. Still do. Maybe it's because I had to call it my home when the Isle fell. And that the Isle fell while we were not there to protect it. How can we protect others when we can't even protect our own people, and our home? The fact that I will have to call it home, does make the heart ache. It's been a year and still I hate it despite it being the place that we wished to see happen throughout the whole realm." Mixing up personal and professional was very foreign to Malva, but lately, she had been debating more on her sentimental values. "Nothing could be achieved without sacrifices. Greatness can only be achieved when you are willing to go through every circumstances and measures. Harsh but isn't the world the same way?" She noticed, she was being a bit pessimistic there. But then again, would anyone blame her?

So she was immensely grateful when he mentioned the festival. That way, she could change the subject of the topic. "I'm not sure. We have this one festival where we truly just let it out and have fun. Of course, fun is subjective. Most of the times, the girls would dress up in the 17th century dresses or earlier when the luxury was seen. It's a reminder that despite the slaughter of our kind, we still strive for the future. Not everyone thinks humans are harmless and useless. If anything, most fear them. Last time I attended one was back in 1645. Didn't went that well for me since I was ditched by Tatiana, whom I eventually found out was in the Queen of France's sleeping quarters." She shook her head at the mere memory of it. Malva was not amused that time, but now remembering it made her smile. "And the King finding out about it wasn't that happy too. Doesn't make it easier when the Queen said he was able to have mistresses but not her. It was definitely royal drama of the century. I had to wipe their memories..such work."

Glancing between the amethyst necklace and Malva he took note of the price attached to it. “Not intentionally, I was just stating a fact.” The General shrugged his shoulders which caused the shirt to stretch tighter across his broad chest. It was clear she wasn’t really used to people saying things like that to her and given her reputation he understood why. “I can’t disagree with that assessment though it’s more your skin tone than your color affiliation with your power. Though I’m not complimenting you out of obligation or courtesy.” He replied honestly since he was just telling her what he saw, she was a pretty young woman, getting past that hardened outer shell wasn’t going to be easy.

“I would rather not have to fight for my life but I never leave home without my diamond dagger.” He said in reassurance that could to a degree take care of himself. He had been trained by the American military and the Organisation. “I never really believed in magic until a few years ago but I never learned too much about it until I met you. Granted it’s still hard to truly learn about without a teacher.” Especially with so many rumors and myths surrounding magic and the Instar Diviners which had once been Fae and Necromancers. Though he understood where she was coming from since nothing was inherently good or inherently bad. “Like humans can’t exist without the supernatural and the supernatural can’t exist without humans. What would be a cost that’s too high?” He didn’t want her to have to pay any price for him since it wasn’t fair to her. After all, it was a little hard to reciprocate.

Glancing back towards her he listened as she spoke of Evermore and her disenchantment with the city. Which he already knew she didn’t like the city given their first conversation in his office since the city had become home to him but obviously not to her. “Evermore has taught me a lot so far and changed my mind on thoughts I didn’t even realize I had. But I can understand why it would hold just negative feelings for you since you were cleaning up our mess instead of taking care of your own.” Which he knew would make him feel guilty if he were in her position. “The city can’t be all that bad, there have to at least be a few good things about it.” He said in a hopeful tone of voice since it couldn’t be all bad no matter what Malva said. “Sometimes you really do seem as wise as your years lived and those of us searching for peace fought long and hard for it to become a reality.” And the world was harsh but he had learned and made peace with that at a younger age than necessary.

The two seemed to realize it was best to take a different path of conversation given the rather serious tone of it. Besides he was curious about what he had gotten himself into given he had agreed rather quickly and with very little info. “Some how you just don’t seem the let it out and have fun sort but I’m going to guess you’ve had to be the responsible one during festivals in the past.” Which was definitely true as she began her sorted tale and explanation. “I’m not sure if I’d rather be feared or ignored and seen as useless.  So I’m guessing we’re hoping for a better outcome from this festival that previous ones since you won’t be finding me in anyone’s sleeping quarters.” Though that was one hell of a story especially as she reached the part about the King who Ben was sure was far from happy with the situation at hand. “Lets hoping wiping people’s memory won’t become necessary since that seems like a lot of work and would mean something went very wrong and I’d rather things not go really wrong if it can be helped.” Not that it always could.

"How does that feel? Fighting for your life? I mean, I've never felt it physically. Since, we don't exactly do much of physical actions to protect ourselves. I guess that's why we have guards. Can't have any of us dead, especially when there's no replacement. I mean, if I got hurt and can't do my work, guess which part of the world is going to start blowing up because the flow of magic is unstable and there's no one to fix it. I feel like I'm a technician. Well..I am a doctor. Mending broken things and people seemed to be my forte, despite my bed side manner being very questionable." While saying the last words of her sentence, she averted her eyes off the shelves and to him, instead. She was teasing him, well in her defense, he did it first, she was just giving it back twice as much. It's not even near as tenfold. "It does make the training very useless though. My good accuracy doesn't get to make an appearance unless it's my siblings stealing away my stuff and I had to throw a knife at them just so they could be warned." She shook her head, as she was definitely not amused by the time her youngest brother dyed her hair pink and got away with it.

"That's pretty interesting. I've never taught anything about magic to a human before, well- not that I can remember of, at least. Yeah, maybe your grandfather is an exception." Which till this day, still bothers her what she saw in his grandfather that made her sought his help in the first place. As everyone knew well of, Malva doesn't mingle well with people. Undead or alive. "Maybe Evermore isn't that bad. Maybe. You seem to like it, maybe one day I will. Just not now, I guess. But I'll have to get used to it, it's not like we could find another island. I swear there are are no more good islands that is still good for civilization yet abandoned. Evermore is a place with potential though. It lures people in, especially supernaturals. Instead of being a minority, they're a majority here. They won't feel left out. That's one progress." The Aspect of Magic knew the feeling of being left out or being an outcast felt like. Even back then when she was in a coven, filled with others that possessed the same ability as her, she was still treated like a freak. Which was probably was she never felt a sense of belonging anywhere, except the Isle of Skye.

Hearing him talk about how wise she sounded, she couldn't help but to scoff. "Surprisingly huh? I guess it's a good thing I didn't die that young. You might be finding yourself talking to a kid, instead." She jested playfully. "Although, my brothers do call me a kid. Literally. I'd hear them end their sentence with either 'sis' or 'kid', despite being only a few centuries older than me." The light haired Russian woman shook her head in disbelief, obviously not finding the nicknames that offensive but playful siblings rivalry does exist. "I've lived for 1290 years..that's a long time, Ben. Sometimes, a bit too long in my view. It's not as if we get much of a vacation when we took this occupation. It definitely was not written in the job description. We've done so many things and had so many achievements. We started off with wanting unity with every species. Evermore today, is a proof of that. A proof that we can co-exist. I'll be damned if someone comes in and ruin it." Malva wasn't kidding when she said that, she won't be that nice if that happens. Pushing away all the negativity she had once again, she formed a smile. 

"Besides, honestly, I died when I was like 19. If anything, you're older than me. In technicality, I'm not even alive. I'm on a time loan. I was resurrected to be the me I am now. So, I've only lived the remaining 1271 years as a soul but in a physical form. Undoubtedly, you are like 15 years older than me, aren't you? So, if anyone's old, it's you." Now, humor doesn't fly well with Mal but seems like it's giving the Aspect of Magic her time on it. 19 year olds back then could easily pass of as 22-24 years old today, even up to 27 and 28. "I don't think anyone would take me seriously if I was some 12 year old kid. Thankfully, I got resurrected in my original body." To which, she was immensely grateful of. She has too much snark to be put in a body younger than she is now. It seems like Ben had taken a careful look at how her character is like. "You're right, I'm not that type that just let it all out and have fun. I'm also the responsible one at any parties or festivals. Which is boring, honestly. I'm not a babysitter nor a chaperone. I'm thinking it's because my brothers would rather let the world come to its end before letting any alcohol come close to me. Apparently, I can't get drunk or we'll expect havoc, especially when I'm with Tatiana or Valentine. I'm not a bad drunk, it's just being in an unstable form when you basically control every flow of magic in the world, isn't really a good idea. Besides, who else is going to clean up the mess my siblings made. Bad drunks, all of them. Probably the only time I had to give a free pass to if they ended up throwing sharp things at me or mess something up at some country. So, the conclusion that my brother, Erythreus made was, that I'm too dangerous to be around alcohol. I could drink, but I have to hide it. And I quote Venetus 'you almost turned me into a mouse, where our home is filled with cats'. The only reason why I hate having to accompany any of them to any events that had alcohol, which is basically every event. As you can see, we're one big happy dragon family." As if it was knowing the exact time, Laura came back with a dress in an old box. She recognized it to be hers, the last time she attended the festival. 

"There's still blood on it, Laura." Malva was quick to point at the sleeves. "You know it's hard to scrub blood off." The blonde complained, the French accent being very prominent. "I didn't ask Tatiana to go hurt the guards. Especially not after she accidentally poured wine on me and then got blood on it. I told you, she's a messy drunk. You don't get someone who could kill like it's a hobby, drunk, Laura." She shook her head, chastising the young vampire. Yes, Laura did got drunk with Tatiana back then which resulted her guard sleeping with the Queen and missing the meeting with Malva. Only realizing Benjamin was still there, she did gave him a sheepish grin. "She didn't kill the guards, she only..hurt them. I made sure to compensate them right after wiping their memories off." She quickly explained. "I miss Tatiana." Malva gave the blonde French a look. "Why did you think I didn't bring her when it's so close to festivals. I don't need my clothes to be drenched in blood again. It's messy and it's very hard to get off. I don't like hearing complaints from my siblings either." With a roll of her eyes, she heard the doors open, to which she turned her head around to face whoever walked in. "Aren't you supposed to be busy, Aliseia." Speak of the devil. "I should be, but I've worked hard enough for centuries, I think I deserve a day off. Is it me, or is your French accent getting more and more horrendous as each century passes?" The tall man who goes by the name of Antonio Cailleau came towards the 3 of them and placed a kiss on her hand. Mal doesn't do hugs and Antonio is quite a noble man from 15th century, so that works. "You should've stayed in England with that accent. You're a terrible Frenchman." What did they expect to come out from the snarky Ailward Aspect? Nothing.

"Pardon my manners then, my lady. Laura, please look after the store while I entertain our honoured guest." With that, Laura left them alone. Antonio's gaze was then averted to Benjamin, instead. "And who might this be, Lis. I didn't know you had human friends." The Aspect of Magic shrugged and the two followed him upstairs so they could talk somewhere more private. "You want him to come?" The uncertainty in his voice was too clear, Malva would be foolish not to detect it. "I'd be stupid to go up there with you alone, An. Not that you could do much to me, because that's a suicide mission since you know I don't tolerate well with threats. But, he's pretty much involved in what I came to talk to you today. So, suck it up. He doesn't mean you any harm, and I hope for it to stay both ways like that." The tone in her voice demanded respect from the vampire yet it still come off as anywhere near intimidating. However, her piercing eyes were enough to deliver the message forward. "Very well." While both of them were trailing behind the English vampire, she had to remind Ben of the small do not's. "He's not stupid to do anything that would make me annoyed, but I'm not sure if that treatment will be offered to you when alone. You still do have that charm, don't you? Keep it close." The room they entered was spacious and well-furnished. It clearly showed the lavish style of the male. "How's 21st century treating you, Lis?"

"I'm still me, aren't I?"

“It’s a rush, it can either cause a person to shut down or fight with strength they didn’t even realize they had. That’s the thing about us humans, we don’t go down easy if we don’t want to.” And he never left home without his diamond dagger these days, especially when leaving Evermore since there were countless risks associated with going into a city of supernaturals who had no rules and believed humans to either be food, a threat or something to play with. “Us humans don’t have the luxury since all we can do is use close to useless weapons against supernaturals along with our own fighting prowess. We’ve fashioned some diamond weapons but most are for close quarters combat and most supernaturals have much faster reflexes than we do so we’re still at a huge disadvantage.” Which is why the Organisation was trying so hard to even the playing field. “Yeah you’re not allowed sick days or mental health days. Though how you have me wondering why you brought me if you’re safety is so important…” Not that he couldn’t handle himself….unless you asked Malva and then she was bring up his own slip up of almost dying. “Am I broken?” He couldn’t help but ask as she spoke of broken things and people before snorting at the mention of bedside manner. “Even you have to admit you go to the worst that could happen instead of a hopeful outcome. I’m going to break you of that one day.” Or he was going to die trying which could become a reality but he wasn’t going to focus on that since he tended to stay on the optimistic side of the spectrum. “I somehow think the throwing of knives if less of a threat than being turned into some sort of creature.” Which he was sure was a pretty constant threat in the Ailward mansion.

“My father apparently wanted me to learn about magic but he never got the change to tell me much of anything but I am a pretty quick study…unless it’s languages and then I might be a bit hopeless.” Though he knew that wasn’t entirely true, he just learned linguistics in a different way than most and reading or hear how something was said didn’t help him to piece together a sentence or conversation. It was the grammar more than the pronunciation that got him. “Besides who wouldn’t want to be taught about magic by the Aspect of Magic herself?” He mused in a bit of a flattering tone, after all if you were going to learn may as well do so from the best. “I got to reinvent myself in Evermore and it’s the city where I learned the truth of the world so I can’t be too hard on it even if the first few years were rough with the phoenix and Initia. Good luck with the hunt of an inhabited island that people can actually thrive on though. I think I’d like to vacation there if you find one.” A vacation, what would that be like? “Evermore has it’s good qualities but it is still a work in progress but most of the supernaturals seem comfortable with the changes recently made.” Though he had the feeling they wouldn’t be as happy when one of the Organisation projects was announced if the Ambassador Council backed it.

“Whatever Miss Snarky.” He teased in no way perturbed by her words, after all she was a prickly pear but kind and compassionate deep down below the surface. “I mean I’m sure the medical stuff you say is wise but I don’t understand it so there’s that.” He teased shooting her a wink as he listened and wondered what it would be like to have siblings, blood or otherwise. He did have Malia who was like a younger sister to him and he was protective over Giselle like a sister but that was it. “Jeeze, only a few centuries and they’re calling you kid? The nerve of them, a few centuries is nothing….unless you human and then you’re dead in usually less than a century.” He reminded her with an amused look on his face since he was still far from serious. Though as he listened to her talk he did gain a greater respect for Malva and the rest of the Aspects since they didn’t ask for this life, it was thrust upon them after their deaths. It had either been stay dead or accept the offer which was given to them and they had accepted it knowing that would mean no peace and no days off. “Evermore is definitely a shining example of how unity and peace can be achieved between species even if all don’t agree with it. Given how much time we’ve both put into making Evermore what it is today I won’t just standby and watch that happen.” The Evermore of today was something a lot of them had been fighting for and working towards for years so he wasn’t about to let anything threaten that.

A sandy brow rose as he looked at Malva trying to understand her point before busting out laughing at her words. “So technically I’m the old one in this situation?” He couldn’t even keep a straight face as he asked his question since it amused him more than it probably should have, the humor dancing in his celestial blue hues. “You trying to stay I’m took old for you Malva? Because there are easier ways to let a man down, without calling him old. If I didn’t have such a healthy ego it might be bruised.” He should probably know when to stop teasing but that had never been one of his strong suits as she continued talking. “Yeah I don’t imagine most would be intimidated or listen to a 12 year old but I could be wrong, after all, I’m old so what do I know?” He jested before she continued to speak of the last festival along with why she was usually the responsible one instead of the one cutting loose and having fun. “Well I have no intention of getting drunk in a city I know little about and causing havoc so you might be okay just this once to let me be the responsible one. I’m not going to wander off and I’m not saying get plastered since if you do that there’s no way we’re getting home anytime soon.” He chuckled knowing it might not be the best idea to offer Malva free reign but everyone should be allowed to cut loose from time to time, at least within reason. “Did Venetus deserve the threat of being turned into a mouse in a house full of cats? Because if so I can’t say that you were in the wrong with that one.” Shrugging his shoulders he couldn’t imagine Malva was that bad while drunk, though he had no idea but could she really be colder than usually? Maybe but he was willing to take the chance if she wanted to. Their conversation of jest was interrupted by Laura who once more returned and Ben stayed close to Malva.

As Malva opened the dress box and spoke of blood still being on it his face paled slightly but he was able to mostly hide it as Laura defended herself and the fact the blood was still there. The blonde did have a point though, blood wasn’t an easy thing to clean out of most things, especially not fabrics. “I’m beginning to think I’m a much better influence than Tatiana.” He muttered despite the fact that he hadn’t met the Guard but the stories he had heard so far were….something else. “Oh yeah of course, no death only maiming and payoffs.” He replied sarcastically thinking he might not want to meet Tatiana if that were the case. Valentine he had met and usually liked since her blunt nature was appreciate in his line of work. Ben was beginning to wonder why he agreed to stay for the festival, oh yeah because he thought it was like a regular festival where people didn’t get drenched in blood and complain about past maiming’s. However the human stayed quiet before his eyes shifted as a door opened and he felt a colder, predatory presence. Turning he could tell the other being was much older than Laura and in a way far more dangerous but his facial expression showed nothing as he listened to Malva speak gathering that this was who they were waiting to talk to. The human lingered in the background as Malva jested with the new comer who obviously knew her well since Malva wasn’t one to just jest with anyone or everyone.

After a few minutes Antonio seemed to realize Ben’s presence but there was a coldness and disinterest in his eyes as if he didn’t even want to look at the human. That was odd, though Ben though maybe the vampire was just hungry and didn’t want to be tempted by anything more than scent. ‘Lis?’ He mouthed at Malva wondering where that came from before continuing his silence since Malva gave him a lot of freedom on the running of his mouth but others were not as kind. The last thing he wanted to do was somehow insult the vampire so it was best to remain quiet until Malva told him otherwise. At the vampire’s question he looked between Antonio and Malva since it was her say given he had no authority here at all. "I come in peace and expect the same." He said simply not wanting to get into anything since it was clear in Malva's tone she wouldn't tolerate the stupidity of the male ego. "Always have that charm with me since the night you gave it to me." He whispered back in a low tone as the entered a room which was the size of a good portion of his house. "Damn." He whispered under his breath still not speaking directly to Antonio believing it was one of those situations where it was best not to speak until spoken to.

Malva did listen to his explanation on his own species intently. She would lie if she said she wasn’t at all curious about how humans live their life. Surely, they have evolved from the many centuries they were given the chance to do so. If there was one thing that Malva had learned from a long time run, it was that everyone are not the same. Maybe they do represent some from the flock, but it wasn’t 100% all of them. She was careful not to misjudge anything, though it was quite hard for the Aspect of Magic, given her natural pessimistic nature and untrusting energy radiating every time she walks around. But she was a good listener, better than a speaker. “If we were afraid of humans back in the old days, I’m sure the fear is still asserted somewhere today. You just didn’t see it. Hatred always came from fear. That was where it was developed and created. It’s a dark thing, something I never thought mother nature would allow her children to feel. But, the world is not all happy and jolly, are they? You’d be surprised to find how many from us that still had the fear on humans. I still do. Why did you think I never mingle myself with the likes of others, much less humans? It’s not supposed to be offensive in any way.. I just can’t find myself to trust them much after seeing what has happened to the world due to the trait ‘trust’ alone. It’s best for you to be cautious and paranoid rather than having yourself end up in a ditch one day because of your recklessness and boisterous confidence.” There it was again, the rare side of her speaking about life itself.

She once again wondered why she did bring him with her considering her safety was at utmost importance. There was a reason they had guards in the first place. Especially now, when they are so out in the open without any protection barrier keeping them away from the ill intentions people had out for them. It wasn’t as if they couldn’t use their powers to fight them off, but it was more to them keeping them for much more better purpose and had a sense of patience and wiseness. Malva wasn’t a holder of patience just as she was a holder of loyalty. She had always been temperamental since a time ago and it didn’t slow down, if anything with her abilities now, it got bigger instead. However, she did learn to control on how to tone them down. “We don’t really get sick...but I’d be lying if I said our mental health wasn’t at all deteriorating slowly as the years go by. We are only individuals gifted with powerful abilities, tasked to protect the balance of the world. We’re not Gods. Still very much susceptible to mental illness, unfortunately.” Malva didn’t like that they were still prone to such conditions. She didn’t like that those would be bothering them while everything that they do had effects on the world itself. It was a big burden.

“I didn’t want to bring any of my guards. What I’m doing with you, was kept away from my family. Siblings and guard alike. They have no knowledge of where I am and what I am doing as of this moment. It wasn’t that hard to hide it when Aureus and Tatiana weren’t home most of the time. It’s not as if I actually ever get out of my room anyways. The biggest problem are those two people. If my eldest brother gets a hold on me, I can’t hold anything away from him. It’s pointless, not to mention, incredibly futile. And Tatiana..well. We’re not in good terms lately due to me keeping a few things from her knowledge.” Her tone was solemn but Malva was quick to get back on her stature. It was clear that since the Aspect of Magic didn’t have a lot of friends, she tends to hold on to those she had. Especially, when they’ve been with her for long. “It’s not like it’s any problem. I’ll get over it soon. Finding out about all of this is definitely more important. I’m supposed to protect both supernatural and humans alike.. This is my duty.” No matter how many times Malva actually tried to convince herself, it always seem to find its way back at her in uncertainty. Chuckling softly at him, she shook her head, obviously finding his slightest antics to be quite amusing. “I like broken things.”

“They gave me a very serene feeling. To know I’m the one who could piece them up and fix them. So, I cherish every single thing and people that I could fix. They’re my trophies when I tried to convince I was good. All my friends have been down the road of being hurt and broken, and I mended them back to health. That’s why I have a certain bond towards them. Even much more when I don’t have a lot of them.”

“I promise you I was a good girl back then. So polite, filled with fondness and kindness. Malva Arguarde couldn’t even hurt a fly. She has a sharp tongue and temper, but she is a good kid. I like to think I’m still kind and just as compassionate as I used to be. A few things changed of course… I’m Malva Ailward, not Malva Arguarde anymore.” She shrugged, dismissing it all altogether. She liked and hated Malva Arguarde at the same time. For many reasons. “I was a student once upon a time. A diligent student. Now, I’m the Aspect of Magic. I used to seek more spells to learn and now I create them. How ironic. I remember the people around me kept saying how I’ll never be half of the woman my mother was. Not that I want to. She was a terrible woman and mother. But she was undoubtedly one of the most powerful witches our coven has ever seen.” Her mother was thrown out of her coven because of her abilities, that was why the whole family moved to America in search for a new one, in the first place. But she had used them for darker purposes. “I don’t think you’d want a vacation there.” She frowned and shook her head.

“It might get blown up once again.”

Now, both weren’t sure if there were supposed to be a hint of humor or not in that.

“Sometimes the sense of loyalty I have is worrisome. I would do anything for the people I cared for. Anything. Everything. It’s a good trait but it could also be a scary one. Especially, when you’re not sure how far of the measure you’re willing to go thread in.” The mere thought of that actually worries Malva. They were peacekeepers of the realm, but they’re not saints. So mistakes and acts of recklessness were still there. And with their title, she was worried it may affect their reputation and such. After all, that’s all they had. Seeing him laugh did bring a small smile to her. “Seems so, Mister. I’m just saying, that I’m some 19 year old kid and you’re a 34 year old guy and the way you made me sound was as if I’m 100 years old..well- ok maybe I’m older than that.” It took her a while to actually realized she was ten times older than 100 years old.”My god..I really am old.” She snickered once she actually found the realization. “I used to think I wasn’t that old..when really, I am. Ouch. I wasn’t trying to let you down, I think. Huh, this is probably the first time I met a guy who had a ‘healthy ego’. I tried to tell my brothers they’re old and they flipped.”

When the topic of drinking came back, the Russian light haired aspect scoffed lightly. “Everything he does made him deserve of every hit that comes his way. That man is always getting drunk, I swear it’d be a very bad influence if he had kids.” She made sure to never talk about kids in front of her siblings. When she said that, she actually hit herself mentally and paused so sudden. “I mean..it’s not something he should be worrying on at least. Neither do any of us will have to.” No wonder they acted twice their actual age. She felt like at least, her brothers were grown adults by the time of their death. She couldn’t say much for her sisters. Tia and Cora looked much more mature than their age and Mal could be grateful she looked older than her actual age. Sensing the discomfort in him, she closed the box and pushed it aside before following the vampire.

“Tatiana’s okay..she’s just a bit untamed and wild when it comes to the life of the party. She deserves the treatment when she’s been risking her life every time. It’s the least she was owed to. “We can’t kill, darling. Not for recreation and fun at least. Even when it was so self-defense, it seems unlikely for us Aspects to actually lay our hands on them. So we only give out orders after a council and have the guards carry it out.” She shrugged, obviously Malva did not think much on how most rogue supernaturals that came to their trials and court were treated. Like she mentioned earlier, they were peacekeepers, not saints. All they were obligated to do was on how to keep the balance the best of their ability. They didn’t have to play good fairies.

When Malva took a seat at one of the seats, leaning against it with her legs crossed, staring at the vampire before them with an unwavering stare, as she beckoned for Ben to do the same. He looked just the same. But then again, so did she, with only a few minor changes to the hair color and clothes. Attitude were just as the same and the way she talked wasn’t so 21st century as well. When she saw Ben questioning her about the nickname Anthony had given her, she found herself to have that question answered by the brunette vampire before she could give him an answer herself. “It’s my nickname to her. Aren’t you her friend? Surely, you must know her name.” The french accent was no more as it was replaced by his natural british accent. Malva felt a bit guilty to find how mean her friend was treating the human. “Now, now, An..Let’s not scare the poor human away. He’s my friend, so behave. Not everyone knows my full name. You know I don’t use that name much.. It’s not even a mandatory rule, slow down, vampy.” She chastised and the brunette shook his head, scoffing at him.

“It originates from her name. Malva Irina Aeliseia Arguarde. Aeliseia is a name originating from France, which was from her mother’s side. If not Aeliseia, she’s known as Alice. Which was why I had called her Lis for short.” Again, he answered before Mal could explain to Ben. “Don’t you go around as Alice anymore?” When the foreign vampire asked, she found herself shrugging, not thinking much of the alias. “Used to. But Evermore basically found out who we were after the fall of the Isle. So I thought, there was no reason to hide my disclosed identity.” Clearly, Anthony didn’t really like that action but he was just a friend, nothing more he could do there. You can be Malva’s closest friend and you’d still be put in place is you crossed the line and the boundaries she placed. She wasn’t afraid to use her snark to slam them back to where they came from, which was behind the line. “This is my close friend, Antonio Cailleau.” She introduced the vampire to Ben, when he interjected by saying “Best friend”, to which she eventually shuts him up. “Don’t push it, An. Best and close, there’s no point in actually differentiating them. As I was saying..his alias is that ridiculous French name. His real name is Anthony Nicholas Atherton. Born in 1457, human turned vampire. That’s why he’s always so cranky.” It was evident of how close the two were. Their friendship dated back in the late 15h century. Anthony had asked her to why she was there, she only responded by saying she was shopping for gemstones. “Don’t you have enough, Lis?” The vampire jested, clearly teasing her on her ‘obsession’ or hobby on collecting gemstones dated since she opened her eyes to the world.

“Careful, vamp. That Alexandrite gemstone you’re wearing on your ring finger is a gift from me. It’d be useless if I take back the spell that fueled the usage of it.” Despite the cold blunt tone to her voice, the smile and glint in her eyes stated otherwise. The two were obviously jesting each other. “There’s no problem in having insurance, okay. It’s not as if finding gemstones these days are easy as it used to. It took me 80 years trying to find that Alexandrite you’re wearing for daylight ring. Russia is my birth place but it doesn’t mean I like to go back there and mine the place for more Alexandrites. It’s bad enough that it’s one of the rarest gemstones in the world, and when people find them, they used it for jewelry and trivial stuff. Do you know these people had Alexandrite studs made for shoes? What a waste. And my favorite stone, Amethyst were being used on royal crowns and decorations.” The clear distaste in her voice made it even more funnier. “You know people are always so superficial. You couldn’t find them online? Come on Lis, it’s the 21st century.” That only made Mal glare at him. “Don’t go all Valentine on me, Atherton. I did try that. But it’s all fake. Well..not in market wise. But it’s basically synthetically made. It’s not natural..you know- the ones from the soil and mineral of the earth throughout centuries. You think mother nature is okay with one of her children deceiving her using synthetic Alexandrite to make daylight rings and necklaces? If she did, it would have been easier for vampires to walk under the sunlight.”

“Wait. Mine is a real one, right?”

“You walked under the sun and you’re still alive now, aren’t you? For the love of god, An. You think I’d risk your life. Aren’t you a good friend. What happened to trust.” She feigned her offense by placing a hand over herself as she narrowed her hues.

How ironic it was. That Mal had spoken of trust to Anthony.


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