She was suffering. She was miserable. She could feel every single emotion seeping into her slender body. Malva felt downright weak and was so close to the small breaking point right there on the spot. The Aspect of Magic has been pacing back and forth in her spacious dark room since morning and now dusk previously settled in hours ago. The clock that was hung on the wall had struck the number 11, indicating it was already well past 11 pm. Covering her face with both her hands, she found herself leaning against the wall. Multiple books of the dark arts were sprawled open before her with a few parchments crumpled after being scribbled on.

She's been looking back at it for a while since yesterday. She had a feeling that just pushed her to do it. It was rare for her not to do anything nor deny what her instincts are telling her to do. It was possibly one of the many things she actually followed. Unknowingly, she was releasing a plea to Argent. She's been whining and crying out in distress in her head for the Aspect of Light. It wasn't the first time the occurrence happened, but it was by far the first time she managed to project the call in their heads. It was probably due to them living as one entity. She was too much in a delirious state to actually noticed she was doing it, enough to forget what was happening around her. Similar to one whenever she was shutting everything out that was surrounding her.

Despite her erratic breathing, Malva managed to keep herself calm because all it took was a few glides here and there from certain emotional state, and she she could very well set the room on fire. She didn't seem to like that particular idea so she was trying to keep herself dormant as long as she could, until she was graced with the presence of Argent who always find a way to calm her. 

Argent. Argent. Argy.

That was all that she kept mumbling in her head. All she wanted was a desperate sense of tranquility that the redheaded Aspect was more than generous to give. The malevolent light her ruby pendant gave was enough to give her chills so she tossed it under her bed instead. It was surprising to see at least three different books on the dark arts placed in front of her because the Aspect of Magic had sealed the particular set of books some time ago for a very good and concrete reason. She hasn't even let anyone actually read it, not even Gabriel. Neither did she. 

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The redhead turned restlessly in her sleep, sprawling her way across the entire bed as her mind played it's usual tricks on her. Argent hadn't been able to get a proper restful night sleep in a long time, instead she found herself plagued by the guilt she had for many different things would make her unable to truly relax. When she did sleep she did so for short bursts of time interrupted by her constantly waking herself up. Sometimes she wondered how she managed to keep functioning when she barely managed to catch her breath before another day would come along.

Tonight the nightmare was centered on the isle of Skye, people begging her for help but all she could do was watch as the whole place was torn apart piece by pierce, she was screaming, banging her entire body on the invisible barrier stopping her from getting to those who needed her until a voice rang through her mind. The voice was clear despite the emotion, almost plea like, which echoed through it. Argent recognized her sister's voice as it echoed until it was all she could hear and the dream slowly faded away.

The aspect of light jolted up in her bed quickly reaching for the bedside lamp and flicking on the switch. She sighed as she caught sight of the time and realized she had only managed to get 2 hours of sleep and not good ones either. She was shocked however when Malva's voice ran through her mind again, seemingly more desperate and delirious than the last time and Argent realized that the voice hadn't been a dream at all, rather some kind of communication from her sister. She turned and climbed out of her bed, grabbing a lamp from beside her bed and slipping on her robe as she headed out of her room.

The hallway was dark as most of the guards had retired to their chambers and so she moved quietly through the halls of the manor towards Malva's room. Argent felt a sense of dread in the pit of her stomach as she did so, it wasn't the first time that the aspect of light had felt a compulsion to go and find her sister and often it was because she had gotten herself too deep. Argent shook it off turning the last hallway to where she hoped Malva would be and knocked softly on the door.

When she got no response she reached for the handle and opened the door anyway stepping inside and closing it behind her. Argent's gaze turned to shock as she looked around taking in the scene before her. There were books scattered on the floor and Malva was curled up against the wall muttering softly. Argent's expression softened with concern as she hesitantly made her way across the room trying to figure out if Malva even realized she was there. "Mal" she spoke softly as she dropped down to her knees beside the brunette and placed her hand on her should. "Hey I'm here, you're okay" she soothed as she turned her eyes once again back onto the books that were laid out "Dark arts" she spoke softly furrowing her brow with concern, why the heck would they want her to read those.

Malva was too preoccupied with herself, so much she didn't sense any other presence except her own, neither did she notice someone entered her room in the first place. Shutting her eyelids as she tried to squeeze herself through the two cracks of the nether end coming from the state she was in, it was tempting not to lose herself there. Everything was pushing her to one direction, but a slight tug was trying to pull her back. It was basically a brandishing game called tug of war again. The tears began to stream again, only this time, she could see the red color instead of its usual clear translucent one, which made her gain an amount of shock. Has she been using magic all this time?

When she heard her name coming from Argent, who placed herself beside her, she shook her head slightly at the sounds of the voices she's been hearing and looked up to the Aspect of Light's direction. Malva had flinched when Argent placed her hand on her shoulder, until she stiffened. But recognizing a familiar face, she was able to calm down and dial her state down a notch. But it wasn't all enough. Although the calming aura filled with serenity and tranquility that the Aspect of Light exudes definitely helped with it. What was once the clear color of tears of an usual one, she could feel the weakness that was pitched on to her. She had been crying out, but she never thought she was conducting the usage of magic itself. Desperately wiping off any excess of the blood stained tear from her cheeks, she inhaled and exhaled slowly, trying to regain her previous state because the occurrence had only confirmed one matter; once again, her emotions got the best of her and became the anchor that controlled her magic. It shouldn't be surprising to the Aspect of Magic but what does frighten her was the fact that she wasn't even aware she was displaying any use of magic.

"You heard?", she croaked out, her voice sounding very pitiful, as if she's been spending the last hour screaming. Which probably was it. She also placed a hand on Argent as the younger strengthen her hold. A sudden feeling that surged through her body made the brunette sigh, with a dejected look on her face, her other free hand finding itself on caressing Argent's red locks. "Have you been having a hard time trying to sleep again?" Unfortunately, it was a normal occurrence for the rest of them, especially these days. Aureus came to her occasionally to request for any sleeping inducements and even she had taken a few herself, in order to get proper rest, but there's only so much she could offer because too much would guarantee one's hold and dependency on it. The night terrors that plagued their nights and invaded their peaceful sleeps, had been too often. It caused unrest within them because it was related and connected to the events of the world itself. And the feeling of having to contemplate which is which was becoming exhausting.  

When the Ailward Aspect saw her younger sister's gaze on the books that were sprawled before them, she sighed again before running her hand through her dark locks. "I know what you think.. but I just had to. I needed to find it." Malva mumbled, as it was clear to all her siblings that ever since what happened centuries ago, she was not to study such arts nor delve herself into it again, for the fear of temptation. For Malva who was hanging by the middle of the thread, she was still very much prone to temptation from both sides. Her anger usually drives the other form a lot, but rather than being angry, she was more to frustration. So much, she felt the pain and only wanted the pain to stop. What made her worry was that one day, she might exchange the pain for something else. "I don't know what it is, but something dark is upon us, Argy. I could feel it and I'm sure you could too. But it has been running away from my clutches, and so I couldn't find it." The frustration that laced her voice had made it clear that she has been pushing herself to find it. And Malva is used to searching for trouble.

As Argent looked back at her sister her eyes widened a little with concern as she saw the blood coming from her eyes and the way that she looked panicked and jumpy. So much as a gentle touch on her shoulder almost sent her flying but Argent remained steady as she held onto her doing her best to calm her down. Argent could see Malva looking back at her but she could tell they she wasn’t fully aware of her surroundings, Argent had seen her siblings in this state before, usually when they got so involved with their element that they were unable to pull themselves away but Malva’s always felt so much worse because magic was so volatile and dangerous.

“Of course I did, you were practically screaming the place down” she spoke softly with a gentle chuckle doing her best to hide the concern and worry in her voice as she looked back at the brunette, Argent always tried her best to make people feel better and often her gut just told her what she needed to do without her thinking about it too much. The redhead kept hold of her sister as though a simple touch could protect her from whatever she was up against, her arm sliding behind her back as she sat down next to her and pulled her in closer towards her. When the concern was turned back on her however she let out a soft sigh “Nothing I’m not used to by now” she admitted as she reached up with her spare hand and rubbed at her eyes, it would be nice to sleep a full night through once in a while she had to admit. Regardless, a bit of restless sleep wasn’t going to kill her.

Argent nodded as she tried to make sense of what was happening with her sister, the problem with their elements was they were so involved in them that often it was hard to figure out what one another meant, Argent had done her best to get to grips with the other’s talents but even now she still found Malva’s one of the most complex and confusing “Find what?” she spoke softly as she reached to wipe away some of the blood from her cheek before she climbed to her feet and ran a towel under the tap. She came back, shifting back down to the floor before she reached out to dab softly at the aspect of magic’s face, wiping away the blood that was staining her cheeks.

When she followed it up with her confirmation that she didn’t know what it is, Argent let out a soft sigh placing down the now blood soaked towel and looking back at Malva, she had gotten the same ominous feeling the other aspect had but she hadn’t had an urge to act upon it just yet. “Mal you know these books only lead to pain right?” she warned softly, it wasn’t her place to tell Malva she couldn’t use them, especially because she knew that feeling you got as an aspect, when you needed to do something and you would feel completely restless and exhausted until you did what it was telling you to do. “Will they at least let you rest for a few hours?” she spoke it as a question but it was more a plea to above for her sister’s sanity.

It wasn't usually a normal occurrence for her to dictate such move upon her. No. But it wasn't weird either. Malva often found herself pushing to get to the bottom of everything because she couldn't bear to put a hold on it no longer. Being the perfectionist she was, it had also enhanced it by tenfold. So when her younger sister wiped the blood away using the wet towel that was now dabbed against her cheeks, she could only muster up a sigh. Honestly, the Aspect of Magic had no words to utter. None that could possibly bring any end of her torment. None that would end up posing as one that is of answer. 

Unfortunately, much like what Argent knew, their elements were very distinctive to each other's. Each and every one of them had their own criteria and trait that literally shoves everything away from the beginning. Although magic still had both light and dark, the one they controlled however, differs. Her element was volatile, it was dangerous. The ominous aura that surrounded the very thing she was supposed to be protecting brought malevolent light upon the Ailward Aspect herself. "I would offer you some sleeping draught or something, but I don't think that's a good idea. I had to cut Reus off before he got addicted to it. But I'm sure there's something I could cook up." Just as she was about to stand up, the joints in her muscles felt so strained that she felt if she had moved one more time, it will split. And so, she remained seated in her previous state. "Yeah, maybe not now."

Finding the strength to answer her sister's question, despite the calming aura helping her, she felt so tired and lethargic. Almost as if every tinge of energy was sucked dry out of her. "The spell.. the spell that brought down the destruction of the Isle. Our home." She croaked out, clearing her throat a few times before continuing. Her throat felt like the Sahara desert. "I couldn't use magic to dictate or pinpoint any page. I made sure my spell journal wouldn't be enchanted by any form of magic. Precautions.. never thought I'd get the short end of the stick. So, I had to do it manually. In order for me to create a counter spell for anything, I had to find the source first. There is absolutely no way that such spell could escape my notice. It's just absurd to even think of it." Shaking her head at the mention of it, the brunette only found herself in more denial. 

When Argent spoke regarding the books that was laid out not far from where they were at, she lets out a heaved sigh. "I know..believe me, I do. I should have not even thought of touching it, much less read it or practice it. But how long will I go on shoving everything away like this? I know my biggest fear is temptation; something that will surely push me off the path I'm supposed to take. But I can't keep running away from it. It's been four centuries, Argy. Four. I need to get a hold of it, eventually. Clearly, now's not the best time to go on dwelling in such arts." Then comes the huff. Malva knew her siblings had her made sure all the books were kept away, for her safety. Who knows what would've happened if she was tempted by such side again. Juggling in between the light and the dark was never easy, but somehow, now of all times, it became the hardest period of their lives.

"Why is it so somber and sullen? Others might not see it, but our family could. Our siblings could. It's all well and warm, but you could see something shrouding above it. More problems started to occur, from South to North, from East to West..Everywhere. This isn't a coincidence, Argy. It's a sign. But the more I try to dig deeper, the more it runs. I tried to rest, and maybe sleep, but I'll be lucky if I can get a decent sleep without waking up. Except, this isn't normal. It used to be a colloquial occurrence to all of us. Waking up in the middle of the night and all..bothered by our own elements. But this time it's different. I know you can feel it." The fear that was etched upon the Aspect of Magic marks the many days of her being afraid. 

Argent knew she was lucky to have an element like light chosen for her, light was pretty much a constant in the world, every morning the sun would rise and every night the stars in the sky would shine down on them, when compared with an element such as magic which seemed to run wild, she had to wonder if she’d been given the easy ride at times. Argent gave an amused smile and Mal insisted on worrying about her sleeping over her own state though she frowned a little as the brunette tried to move only to collapse back into her coiled position “Hey don’t push yourself” she scolded with a shake of her head, really there was no telling her sister sometimes “My lack of sleep isn’t worth you collapsing over” despite her scolding tone her eyes were showing concern “You can’t fix everyone’s problems Mal” her voice was soothing as she reached to move the other aspect’s hair from her face and dab at the last of the blood.

The redhead kept one hand on Mal’s shoulder to steady her, trying her best to keep a sane mind as they talked, they were all guilty as each other when it came to worrying about one another. If they could all solve one another’s problems they would probably try, that was what made them a family she supposed, they all relied on one another more than any of them would probably admit. At first Argent was confused about what Malva was trying to explain but as she kept talking it slowly made more sense to the redhead, much like they had all done for the past year or two, she was obsessing over the cause of the fall of Skye. Argent had her own opinions on that particular subjects, ones she was very vocal about but she could understand why it would hit the aspect of magic harder, knowing a spell of such magnitude was able to be hidden from her “Whoever was behind the attack knew what they were doing, they knew that the celestial magic breaking the barrier would draw your attention and daze you” she squeezed the other woman’s shoulder gently “You can’t put blame in your ability” lots of powerful magic being unleashed at once, it wasn’t like they stood much of a chance, it was planned to perfect precision.

Argent couldn’t help her protective nature, if was as much a part of her as being the aspect of light, she cared for her siblings and often was the only one to ask why when things got messy with their elements, sometimes she would talk to the sky, asking the gods what their plans were, questioning the life they led. The way the brunette spoke struck a chord with her however, asking questions she didn’t really know how to answer. She ran her tongue along her lip as she listened and took in her sister’s concerns and then pondered what she could say. “I used to think darkness was a bad thing but” she paused “I think there has to be equal amounts of darkness and light for this world to function, no day without a night to follow” the problem with darkness is that it was addictive, it drew people in and held them on the other side very often “You have to figure out how to balance out the dark, some kind of tether to the light” she didn’t know if that helped at all but she was somewhat an expert in watching people teeter the edge between the two.

Realizing the serious tone the conversation was taking the redhead moved back a little, crossing her legs as she listened to Malva take, she wasn’t blind, nor was she lacking in feeling, Argent had been getting the same feelings they all had, that things were getting worse and this didn’t even feel like it was the world, it felt like this was personal and that scared her for the safety of those she cared for. “I feel it” she affirmed with a nod “But it doesn’t feel like all of the crisis’ we have faced with the world before” and there had been many, she had to admit “This feels like someone is watching us, breathing down our necks and waiting for the right moment” or perhaps that was just her own paranoia in play.

Malva will admit, upon hearing that she couldn't fix everything, it made her sad. The Aspect of Magic was a perfectionist, who wished to see everything done accordingly. To the exact form of order. She wished to see everything perfect, which was truthfully a far-fetched result. "I know it's impossible to fix everything, but the very least was that I could try. It might be useless or futile, but I have to try, right?" Another problem with the brunette Ailward, she overthinks almost every single thing. "That's funny. Very ironic no? I can't even fix myself, much less fix someone else. That's just wrong." Letting out a huff, she scrunched her nose up at the thought of it. 

As her younger sister placed a reassuring hold over her, she could feel the calming aura that felt slightly divided. It was there. The calm air.The serenity it offers, but it was divided. She knew by then, it wasn't Argent, it was her. Malva had a way to feel different about her air., it was one of her many qualities. For such a natural born pessimist, it was easier for her to think that way. They were deteriorating. One by one, it was clear and evident. The proof was there. Maybe not in terms of health nor physical, but the Aspects were tethered and bound as one entity; what one feels, the other do too. And in this case, there were 8 of them altogether. "How did they even know of the Celestial magic..their energy. But that was only the beginning, Argy. They channeled a direct source of energy, I can't even fathom to see them use it again. Their celestial energy are powerful, and when people like witches and wizards get a hold of it, they get creative. They make use of it. And I know that if they were powerful and smart enough to cloak it away with another layer of shroud, it's only a matter of time before they find us."

Malva was utterly scared of what comes after. It's been 2 years and yet, there was not a single day she did not reminisce the untimely tragedy that befell their entire family. Whoever did that, they were waiting for their reaction and they got one. What's more important is that they were waiting to launch their next move. "Do you think, they were targeting us? Whoever it was that did that horrible thing? I mean, they must've known we were in Evermore. They struck us when we were not aware. That was the first move, and for the past two years, so many disturbances have occurred in our world. From everywhere. We never got a rest. It seems too good to be a coincidence. If anything, now it seems like a chain of reaction." The Aspect of Magic wondered if they were brewing something else right now, just right under their noses, without them knowing. That would be such an advantage, an upper hand they received so easily. They could be hit, anytime.

"Do you think they know?" She asked, her question implying on the Gods that resurrected and gifted them their current abilities now. "About what's in store? But why won't they tell us anything? I feel like we're on our own this time, like any other times." If there used to be any flicker of hope in her, it was diminishing slowly as time passes. It has come to a part in her chapters, where Malva wasn't sure what she's doing now. As usual, their duties was to protect and preserve the balance with both worlds. But there was only so much one could take, and for the Aspect of Magic, she was slowly to get exhausted. That was one issue, her ability was another. The Russian born Ailward knew that she's been juggling it untimely. Far too long. 

"I used to be able to distinguish this and that. Up until four centuries ago of course, that incident traumatized me so much that I vowed to never take any energy tethered to the darkness directly, ever again. Hence, why I even created the ruby pendant in the first place. So I will never need to venture in the dark nor request for it again. And because of that, it had a better and stronger firm grip on me than ever. The more I push it away, the more it grabs me. I try to steer clear of the path, trying a few forms of connective magic that leans more to the dark side, while maintaining my stance. But the temptation still looms over. My fear gave it power." It was almost a battle between herself. The problem was that she wasn't sure how to get over it, or if she'll have the time needed. It seemed as if everything kept piling on top of the platter of their problems. As if they didn't already receive an abundant number.

"Why are we not hunting them down, honestly? I feel conflicted the last time I tried to trace back where things might originate from. We don't have the number for our guards as we used to. Our security detail doesn't entail much nowadays. That's far from our concern, of course. But as we are powerful in our own way, we are also weak in so many ways. We need the protection if we are going down this path." The particular thought have been resting in her head for a few weeks, but only now had she gained the confidence needed to speak about it. "Do you think Evermore is our haven? Or is it really just a trap?" She was sure, the sudden question regarding their current residency would have shocked the Aspect of Light. "It was just a thought. So many supernaturals here, we co-existed very well. But where there are pros, there will be cons just as well. What if they've been spying on us so close to home? What if our enemy is already in our midst? People come and go easily.." Paranoia was not a foreign case for any of them.

Argent nodded softly, she could understand where Mal was coming from, it was in most people’s nature to want to fix things that felt broken, it was why people got into other people’s business when they know they probably shouldn’t and she would be worried if she met someone who didn’t feel even a little of that “I think sometimes you have to draw the line for your own sanity” she answered honestly, it was why she refused to get close to new people anymore, every new person she let in was a new set of worries she took on and once she had them, it was very different to let them go “Plus I don’t think anyone can really fix themselves, we always feel like there’s something more” she always felt like she could improve on herself anyway.

Perhaps Argent was one of the most level headed of the aspects but that wasn’t without a lot of experience and changes to herself, the aspect of light always used to run wild with her heart and it had led her a lot of great places but also a lot of painful ones. Argent felt like she was so used to pain by now that she had somewhat become numb to it, that was why when everyone seemed like they were breaking apart she seemed to be the one attempting to hold them all together. “Any diviner older than you would likely be able to see past the memory spell if they wanted to, I just assumed most diviners wouldn’t have much use for celestial magic considering how impossible it is to control” she pursed her lips, they had sure underestimated that.

Of course Argent was hurt by the fall of Skye, everyone had taken such a huge hit from the news, some didn’t speak for weeks, others were so desperate to find out what happened that they took extreme measures but Argent had really took the time to step back and think about the hubris of her people, perhaps they had started to think they were untouchable and perhaps balance was reminding them they weren’t. “Of course they were targeting us” she answered without missing a beat, she had no doubt about that, there was no accident in what happened, she knew that for certain. “The real question we should be asking is why we are targets” who could hate them so much that they would shoot down an entire island to hurt them and then blame it on the celestials.

Malva’s other question was less clear cut though, there wasn’t really any clear answers when it came to the Gods, they had given them a second chance and a task sure, but that seemed to be about where their interference on earth ended, for a long time Argent had been on the opinion that it wasn’t their place to ask those questions “Perhaps they do” she commented her green flicking over to the hues of Malva’s “But sitting and asking them to come save us is kinda against what we were asked to do” she tilted her head a little wondering how Malva saw their connection to the skies “I think we have to fight our own battles” and by now they should be able to, they should and are a force to be reckoned with.

Argent ran her tongue along her bottom lip as she listened to Malva talk about dark magic, part of her was glad she wasn’t born able to wield magic and had never been given the gift of it either, it seemed more of a curse than a blessing, especially when it came to her sister. “Well I suppose that is the one thing I probably can help you with, if you’re gonna read these things, which it seems like you are, at least use me as your tether to the light” there wasn’t any risk of the aspect of light faltering to darkness so it made the most logical sense, though she knew she couldn’t always be around to help Malva every time she needed to reach into the darker parts of magic.

“You really think Ven and Aureus haven’t tried that?” she raised her brow curiously, her first instinct had been to want to lash out at whoever it was too but it wasn’t that simple, it was obvious that whoever had targeted this attack wanted to remain anonymous, wanted the celestial energy to trigger a war between the celestials and Ailward and while they had been smart enough to just about avoid that, she still felt like they were very far from knowing the true. “There’s a big puzzle right in front of us but no one knows where to start with it and until we solve it, we can’t make a move, we can’t risk the rest of the people we have left on anything certainty” she’d buried too many friends at this point, she wanted to fight, but not at the cost of everyone they loved.

Glancing over to her younger sister by a few years, she sniffled slightly due to the tears wrecking her tear ducts and internal systems. "Yeah well.. I wish it didn't have to suck so bad. There's always been a loophole for everything that's created. To ensure the balance.. But why does it feel like all of that only applied to a few things that aren't incomprehensible?" At this point, Malva was full on the mode of being distraught over the smallest and simplest things. As if her emotions that was locked inside the Pandora's Box had recently seep out minimalistically. Her head was so deep inside that she was having a difficult time trying to waver herself out while coming back out intact. There can only be one winner, after all.

"Is there actually a time where we could draw a line for the sake of us?" It was a rather odd question but seeing her impervious manner, it was surprisingly a normal one coming out from the disturbed Aspect of Magic. "I mean, we tell ourselves that we could draw it. But how long until that line gradually started to disappear from time to time? I hardly doubt there's any equipment on making a permanent ink." Ruffling her dishelved hair, she lets out a quite discouraged huff before mumbling an apology towards the redhead. "Sorry, probably shouldn't be so negative about everything. But that's gonna be hard because-" As Malva stopped saying her words, she went back inside to search for a proper word to describe her current state. "Hah. Because I'm me. Yeah. That's it."

Honestly, she wouldn't be surprised nor shocked if Argent chastised her for such thoughts and mannerisms. Malva had always been such a huge pessimist, even before everything. It was the tangible trait she could never see herself getting rid off. Unlike her sister, the Aspect of Magic was an impulsive person by nature. She has he moments when rationality and discipline became the core of everything she wanted to stand for, but sometimes those don't really last forever. It's the type you'll need to reapply for longer lasting effect. One of the many reasons why the Russian born Ailward Aspect seemed to have a harder time getting through this period was due to her living in denial most of the time. When you've been to used to a concept, you eventually began to believe it was the real thing. That's the case with her.

She paid attention closely to Argent's words, nodding in between to her affirmation. "Celestial energy is very hard to maneuver through since it's more to a source instead of a literal variable, which most diviners are not used to. Unless you take when we used to practice ancestral magic back then. An older form of magic that is much more expendable that gives you more access in tapping into any form of energy. Such as that like the celestial energy. I haven't even thought their energy could be used in such a way.. A tether, or a source. Whoever thought of this would have been a very skilled diviner." Despite the circumstances, Malva would not deny that she felt disappointed and upset that she was outsmarted by someone else. Especially when she was supposed to keep control over the flow of it. What bothered her more was the fact that she wasn't able to even think about the possibilities rising from the situation.

"Truthfully, we're not exactly the most likable people to grace this world, Argy. We operate secretly but there are some parts that began to get hooked up on the trails, eventually they would have found us. Some people didn't like to be controlled. I know I don't. So it's only fair they would make sure no other forces would exist to force that upon themselves. Like you said, light cannot exist without the darkness. Similar to that, I'd say. Us operating, would be a perch of disturbance in theirs. A disturbance. One that needed to be dealt with." Malva took her time in trying to make the best sense on her inferences. She felt as if she's been acting out of the ordinary lately, like she was as obsessive with that particular want and need to find out what happened to their home. So to say she was discouraged when she heard there was nothing from the skies, she frowned and pouted. "I knew I shouldn't place such hope on that. We've been dealing for a millennium on our own, asking for them now would be a joke. But I guess, all of this needed to happen. Then, we would've never noticed what was going wrong until we checked and inspected it out. Maybe this is a sign for us to pick ourselves up and start showing what we were resurrected for."

"Start reminding what it means to fight us. We've been keeping the edge of the world for a millennium. To launch an attack like that on us was basically declaring war. And I think it's time we finish sitting by the sidelines and work from behind the scenes." It was probably the lividness that influenced her to say such words, but she really did mean them. She would be damned if they were to be defeated by an anonymous tipper of the hat. They were strong, and if they needed to remind some parties, why not. Playing with the helm of her top, she traced her finger on the amethyst gem that adorned her pendant beautifully. It was originally the staff she was bestowed by the Gods when they were first thrown back into the world to begin their work. But no one would actually carry them everywhere, so she transformed it into something more miniscule.

"I'm thankful and grateful that you're willing to be my tether to the sanity world. I feel like I'm tipping off from one side to another on the seesaw of limbo. But I know I can't rely on you forever. Traumas are supposed to be gotten over, right? A practice on our fears? I think it's about time I get working on it. It's been 400 years, after all. Whatever that is waiting for us, they're not going to wait until I finally stop being a coward and come mend my will with the dark. What better way to fight fire with stronger fire?"

Argent agreed that whatever they were up against was beyond their understanding right now, they needed to think bigger and more dangerous, a line she was sure would be difficult to cross, they had gotten this far thinking they understood a lot about the world but to be reminded that there was so much they didn’t know was hard. The redhead reached up to run her thumb against the brunette’s cheek, wiping away her tears “Hey we still have each other” she reminded her sister, Argent had to be the optimist because seeing the constant worst in the world would drain her into the ground otherwise.

“I think we have to” she admitted biting on her bottom lip, there had to come a point where their own needs had to come first or they would really get themselves killed. The aspects all liked to talk about how duty came first and everything else second but she knew that each and every one of them longed for something of their own, whether it be love or freedom or seeing things they’ve never seen before. They has all sacrificed a lot in the name of the world “What use are we to the world if we become emotionless husks” without their passion and drive, none of this was possible and she had been around for every up and every down, she knew all the pain her family had put themselves through in the name of what is right, she was sure they deserved some level of breathing room.

Time had certainly done a number on most of their beliefs, the person she was before she died or even after she was resurrected felt like somewhat of a stranger to her now, that girl had been naive and hopeful, since then she’d had a lot of dirt kicked in her face and while she kept getting up, every time it was with a little less energy. She saw that in most of her siblings, drained by the life they endured and the choices they had to make, ones that would haunt most people, they were strong, there was no doubting that, but none of them were invincible and every single one of them has the right to see things how they wanted “I can’t afford to think like that, if I start slipping down that road I don’t think I’ll be able to stop” and so she tried to see the positives in every situation.

The redhead went quiet listening as the aspect of magic talked about celestial energy, for the most part Argent didn’t have a clue what she was saying or what that even meant for them but it was fascinating nonetheless, the way a diviner could wield something so powerful and not have it completely backfire. It was also terrifying though, knowing whoever this was wanted harm to her and her family and them having no clue, where this person was, who they were or even what their endgame was. The redhead ran her hand through her copper curls and sighed “I wish we knew where to start, some way to get out of this maze that’s been set up to keep us distracted” Argent was convinced every lead that seemed to come easy was just another way of biding time.

Argent knew they had many opposers and for the most part she couldn’t blame them, there were people who didn’t believe their origin story, those who had lost people because of the Ailward cause, there were people who had been outright wronged by them, it wasn’t a short list of possible enemies. “I wish I could say that we’ve only ever done what’s right but that would be a lie” she admitted with a half smile, she still carried a lot of guilt over many things, especially the situation with the celestials. “But it’s not like we have the option of just burying our heads in the sand either, we have to stand by who we are or everything becomes pointless doesn’t it?” she pursed her lips, she certainly didn’t intend on going down without giving everything she had, that was for sure.

The got the sentiment of what Malva was saying but she disagreed that they were sitting on the sidelines, Argent had seen her siblings fight their personal bias to prevent a war with the celestials because they knew something else was going on here. She knew from the start that the celestials were a front for something else, otherwise why would Ophelia have come here? It made no sense. Argent didn’t have all the answers but she did believe the Ailward faction as a whole stood the best chance of getting to the bottom of this, but that wasn’t the aspects alone and it certainly wasn’t Malva allowing herself to go insane in the process.

The younger aspect sighed gently leaning her head down on the other’s shoulder and closing her eyes “You don’t have to face everything alone Mal, I know it’s tempting to, that it feels easier to just bottle it and pretend it doesn’t exist but…” she turned her head a little opening her eyes once more “I’m here okay and if I can help then let me” yes, Malva did need to face her fears but no, that wasn’t something she had to do all by herself, there was no shame in drawing from the strength of others “I know you know how to do this the right way, you just need the strength to do it” Argent had a blind faith in her siblings she couldn’t describe, perhaps it was naive of her but there was no one she believed in more.

Malva was grateful that she was blessed and given the family she had today. The 8 of them being together, tethered together as one entity only gave her more confidence that they were going to stay together again for more years to come. They had to. They did not spend 1200 years together, breaking their bones as they tried to mend every single imbalance that occurred in the world, for nothing. Their very first objective became their sole one. She understood how they were given a second chance most people would not get the thought of receiving, and that they were to use it to their very best ability to make sure everything steers clear. As usual, Argent being the Aspect of Light became the pull she needed back into the reality they were living in. Her subconscious was fading the moment the redhead entered her rather dark and dull room, which was another figment of her mind. As Argent wiped away the stray tears that fell from her cheeks, Malva curved a small smile towards the redhead, acknowledging her presence gratefully. 

"Yeah, at least we still have each other. That used to be everything, right? What's important is that we have each other. It's somewhat nostalgic if you take the time to go down the memory lane again, when you heard that. After all, we did start off, the 8 of us, with nothing but an objective to cleanse the world of every impurity and imbalance. We were just this one 'radical' group every authority was afraid of." The Aspect of Magic found herself chuckling at the thought of past them. How full of life they were to spread such cause everywhere they go. How are they able to return to that state again? "I can't believe I missed those days." It occurred to her that maybe she was just getting tired is all. But her exhausted state was not a trouble the others could withstand, so she had to get up somewhat. Which was why Malva was immensely grateful that Argent, the ball of light, came to her when she needed her the most. 

"Ouch, I can't believe you called us emotionless husks. That's deep, sister." Feigning hurt, she nudged the redhead slightly before letting the smile stay on her lips. At least slight humor came out of it. So it wasn't fully depressing. "I don't think it's the problem. We've become too used to everything that it eventually numbs us. We've been in this world for quite some time, we've seen things others have not. Yet there are still people who refusing to believe our existence in this world was to make it a better place to live in. Gosh I hate those guys." Shaking her head, the brunette Ailward huffed as she distinctly made a note to exhume every anger she had pent up in her. "You know, if we went to a psychologist, they'd probably prescribe us with the state of delusion."

When they returned back to the topic of celestial energy, Malva pursed her lips and pondered at the thought of how powerful the individual must be. Whoever it was, they were definitely ahead of their time. Which makes her wonder if she was guilty as she actually admired how intricate every detail was. "I feel like that diviner would be a great ally if they weren't all hell bent in destroying our foundation. I mean, I would love to be their friend." That was a stint to their plans as it did not seem as if whoever it was, to stop everything that they were doing just to get in the favors of the Ailwards. "Fortunately, as I took your advice in trying to navigate my way through these roads and paths to find something positive or optimistic, I found that in this very delirious state of affairs, there is one good thing that came out of all this. It's motivation." Malva did not deny that they were not powerful, no all 8 of them were powerful in their own ways, and when combined together, became the most powerful people ever. Their abilities were god-given, after all.

Looking over to her younger sister who felt discouraged by the choices they've made, she wrapped an arm around her as she hugged her when the Aspect of Light laid her head on her shoulder.  She hated to see her so sad and upset, because she didn't deserve it. The sisterly instincts her just came out and wanted to wash away all of the worries if possible. "I feel like everyone forgets something. We're peacekeepers, not saints. We could not achieve everything without an amount of blood on our hands. To balance, you need both light and dark to exist in the same space. With that being said, it means bad decisions are also accountable. It's not good or bad decisions for us; it's the best decision, to ensure every interest is kept at bay." She knew that but even she refused to believe it, until the Celestials came residing in Evermore. She had the time to think about the wrongs they've done. "But I'll admit, if I have to do that again, all of that horrible things just to make sure the world doesn't crack into two and more innocent lives are lost, I would do it again. Over and over time." 

That progress left a bitter aftertaste in all of the Ailwards, because they found out managing the world wasn't as easy as words being said around. Actions speak louder than words but it's also easier said than done. But they were already given the responsibility, what use are they again if they would not account to it? "I'm glad we have each other. I'm glad I was blessed with a sister like you, and siblings like the others. I feel like everyone should envy our bond. We bicker and argue, but at the end of the day, we're fiercely loyal to each other. That is our strength; the fidelity. A strength others could only assume to have with their family." The smile on her grew wider as she closed her eyes briefly. "I'm thankful you have faith in me, Argy. Most would've given up by now."

Argent had always been reliant on her family, from the moment she joined the Ailward cause they had welcomed her with open arms, even when he real family completely turned their back on her, being part of a group so accepting and forward thinking changed her for the better, made her picture a better world where everyone was free to live the life the chose to. Throughout that time she kept close with all her siblings, their relationships were all different but they were also important, meaningful. Argent knew the only reason she was able to keep pushing, the reason she was the person she was, was because of them and while they all drifted at times, she would always be there for them without question.

It hurt her to see any of her family hurting but it especially hit her hard with Malva, her older sister had always been the stronger than the two of them and so seeing her vulnerable was a rare thing for her, not that it made her think any less of her, she just wanted to punch whatever it was that made her sad but it sadly wasn’t that simple. “You and the others are the only constant I can rely on” she admitted, everyone else came and went but the other aspects, they were always there, they were something she never had to question and even when they fought or disagreed, they all held the highest respect for one another “I guess we’re each other’s strength” she commented and then laughed at how cliche that sounded but it was true nonetheless.

Argent had long thought about the mix of personalities in their group and how they complimented one another, there were some who were very studious and focused, they tended to be the ones who made the hard decisions, there were those who balanced them out, more driven by their emotions “I didn’t call us emotionless but I can see why we might want to be” she sighed softly, sometimes she thought about how much easier this would all be if she didn’t develop personal attachment, if she could completely take her own emotions and bias out of the equation “But our beliefs are what started this and if we lose that we lose who we are” and what was the Ailward cause without the beliefs behind it, beliefs of a better future. She laughed softly as Malva spoke about them being delusional “We should definitely try to open our eyes more, we’re not untouchable and we never have been” but for a while perhaps they had lured themselves into believing they were.

Argent wrinkled her nose at the thought of being friends with the diviner that had cast the curse on the Isle of Skye, she wasn’t sure she would go as far as to say that “It takes a certain level of insanity to want to take down the balance in the world” she commenting, thinking about the impact that would follow if an aspect were to die, they had been lucky so far as to not lose anyone but Argent was sure such an event would be catastrophic, not only for the other aspects but for the world as a whole, the idea of it scared her. “But hey, it wouldn’t be the first time we’ve faced someone who opposed our entire existence right” some might say they were defeated by Mitus but Argent knew even if she had remained dead that say that the legacy her people had started would continue and when you thought it about it like that, they had won. “We were a force to be reckoned with then and we can be again, we just have to pull together” they had all been at their strongest when they were all on the same page.

Just the simple gesture of Malva’s arm around her shoulder helped to calm the aspect of light, her head resting lightly on the brunette’s shoulder, her copper curls tumbling over her shoulder as she did so, Argent closed her eyes taking comfort in the moment, it wasn’t often that Malva let her in after all “I just hate this nagging feeling in my stomach that we aren’t doing enough” she murmured softly, she felt like that a lot, she had a habit of taking on problems that weren’t her own, something she knew she needed to stop doing for her own sanity “But then I don’t know where to start on changing that” it was a vicious circle she had to admit, she wished their abilities gave more direction on that front.

The aspect of light fell silent as she listened to Malva speak, turning her head towards her a little she saw the sincerity in her eyes. Argent knew the two of them probably weren’t as close as they should have been, especially recently but the best part of their relationship was knowing there was always an unspoken level of support, Argent knew she could always rely on Malva to be on her side when it came to important things “Careful, your best side is showing” she spoke with a smile, her tone soft and appreciative of the things she had said “I don’t think anyone would ever truly understand this” she mused with a laugh, it sure was a unique family, 8 people of different backgrounds who built a family, not by blood but by pure respect for one another.

To many others, Malva didn't have any problems. Her only problem seemed to be the coldness she radiated off her. But that was what resulted from the bitterness that slowly consumed her over the many centuries. Her compassion only entailed itself over to few people and her family is what her sole focus is on. Every single one of them, from Aureus to Aurantia, they were the people that managed to keep her sane. Contrary to other people's belief, the Aspect of Magic was a fragile person that relied a lot on the people around her, as such to create the dependency in her. To witness Malva being so vulnerable was a rare occurrence, seeing as the pessimistic Ailward Aspect always kept her chin up.  

Smiling briefly at the redhead female who provided her with so much warmth and solace, which was exactly what she needed at the moment, she found herself leaning against the wall. “I feel the same way. I’m sure the others do too. I mean, considering we’re connected to one another. All 8 of us. Literally. Can’t have any one of us dying any time soon.” She exclaimed dryly, the slight chuckle making its way back to the surface, after being pent up underneath for quite some time. Noting on Argent’s cliche words, she scrunched up her nose and frowned playfully. “Okay, that has to go. Too cliche, sis. Too much.” She jested, taking in whatever it was that they had at the moment, while turning it into a much more positive air. It helps that Argent was there. Her presence alone had shone over from miles away and it has helped increase the positivity and optimism needed, very significantly.

When someone would look back to their family of 8, it was strange to see so many differing personalities mixed into one. It was already given that they were not biologically related by the very least, but they never liked to portray that fact to anyone else outside their circle. Not even in their circle, actually. No one would bother nor dare to remind them of their statuses to one another. But it was still very much wonderous to see how they’ve correlated well with each other throughout the millennium. Their temper however, was not to thread lightly with. That much, everyone knew. They might not all be so temperamental, excluding Aureus, Erythreus and her. But when poked into the right places, it’s there to eat anyone up.

“Sometimes, emotions are dangerous. I don’t mean to say we should all be emotionless vessels, but we could use one of those days. It gets in our way sometimes, no? And for my case, emotions could be both my strength, or my weakness. It gives the drive and push my magic needed, but too much of it will cause me to lose the steering wheel and crash. We don’t want that.” She had also pointed out how they needed to put their emotions aside when making decisions that would influence every single part in their lives. It’s a very important factor. “Sometimes our pride can our strength, or our downfall. It’s interesting.” she mused lightly, the Aspect of Magic was fascinated with the idea of it. She still has yet to study and analyze more about it. “I feel like we need to remind ourselves of that, yes. We started from nothing, after all.” She agreed with Argent, who thought that the people they were today, were due to what they believed in; the one that cost them their dear lives.

Her sister did make good points, ones she had no choice but to affirm in such situation. “Not everyone stays sane like us, sister dearest.” Maybe it wasn’t the best time to crack up some jokes, but she couldn’t help herself from doing so. It’s been incredibly dull and somber before, and now with Argent’s company, she felt more lively. Ironically. “But hey, some people just want to take over the world, right? We’ve encountered those groups over and over again almost every century. It’s getting really tedious. They’re like these childish megalomaniacs. Of course this one, came up at the top of the charts. Because he/she is really giving us a run for our money.” This said person had successfully gotten her full attention, and if everything wills it, maybe they’d find whoever it was that gave them such a devastating year, very soon. Honestly, what Malva wanted to do is just drop everything and begin a hunt for them.

“A lot of people don’t exactly like us, so yeah I’d say that’s in it.” They were hard not to like, but some people just couldn’t get through the hubris their family exuded. Which they do, for a good reason. You can’t expect a family like them to be humble all the way through, they’re not actual saints, maybe with the exception of Argent. “What are you saying, there’s not past tenses with us. If anything, it should be past continuous, because we’re still in this game. We’re still leading it, we just need to make sure everyone else remembers that. And that they will. I’m very sure of that. We’re very persistent, no?” When the two sisters basked in the warmth they both had radiated, Malva couldn’t help but to miss all the moments they used to have in the early days. It wasn’t so stressful like today. It was much more clearer and there was no impasse in their situations.

Scoffing lightly at the ginger, she clicked her tongue in retaliation, as she feigned annoyance. “My best side always shows, I have no idea what you’re saying, Argy. I’m sure you’re too busy to actually notice I show my best side 24/7.”


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