There are two types of women in this world, those who are the candle and those who reflect the light. The candles boldly spread their bright flames, every curve every flickering of warmth and passion put out there for all to see and feel. The reflectors are more reserved in their demeanor, using any and all light to their best advantage, masters of subtlety they strengthen the flames in others while quietly feeding their own. Neither is more powerful than the other, both are supported on a firm foundation of confidence and strength cloaked in grace and beauty wielding their gifts with a sure and steady hand. Cecilia Laterza was firmly in the latter category, an enigmatic seductress with a silver tongue and enough allure to put even Aphrodite to shame.
Her existence was considered a controversy in the village, having being birthed from two rival families that's been at each other's throats for centuries long. The Laterza and Natale family have been sworn enemies for as long as they could remember; a rivalry dated up to the time where the Roman Empire hasn't even conquered the world yet. They were proud noble families that have argued over power. When she was born, the sun was nowhere to be found, the night engulfed them, leaving no room for light other than the one that shone from the moonlight. Adamo Laterza and Flora Natale were what you would call ‘forbidden lovers'. Neither one of the two wanted any part in their families’ cutthroat rivalry. It was just a simple accident one day, the two of them bumping into one another while walking around the village. They exchanged their formal introductions and in time, not only did a friendship bloom between the two of them, but a spark that ignited the love scorching from within.
A few years later, without the knowledge of their families, Flora gave birth to a beautiful healthy baby girl, which Adamo named her Cecilia. Her birth was a somber affair, as Flora labored to bring her daughter into the world for far longer than the average time estimation for a child. The two became more adamant in leaving their home and elope together, in hopes to build a better life for their new family. However, following Cecilia's addition to the family, word spread out and both families had Adamo and Flora intercepted before they could even escape the countryside. Many thought and hoped the birth of Cecilia would soften their hearts and start anew for her sake. But alas, it remained just a hope, crushed again like the flowers, any other day. Her father was beaten to death one night, by the two Natale brothers, for defiling the jewel of their family, while her mother was eventually disowned by her own family. She was left to care for baby Cecilia on her own, after witnessing the tragic event that unfold in the town square-- her lover's demise.
Flora was exiled to the countryside, where she spent the next few years of her youth, making the best efforts to care and educate Cecilia. It was harsh for the first few years of her life, living in a derelict home with a struggling young single mother. Growing up, she was given so much love by everyone from the countryside, it was almost impossible to wrap her head around the amount of care she's gotten. Cecilia grew to her mother's expectations, inheriting her father's daringness and traits while physically looking like another twin version of a youthful Flora, but with raven locks instead of her blonde ones, and the blue optics replaced with bright hazel.
By the time she reached adulthood, there were already plenty of eyes on her. Her olive skin complimented the hazel hues and raven hair. However, throughout her growing up period, she didn’t have it easy. Running around the countryside who’s struggling with poverty was one thing, the fact that she goes around as an illegitimate child from two powerful families was another. Her surname would never leave her alone-- the surname that will follow her till the ends of the earth forever. Despite the circumstances of her birth, Celia was still given the name Laterza-Natale by rights due to the current laws administered, especially when Celia was the only child from both firstborns of the family. Flora didn’t fare well too, as her health gradually worsen as the years fly by, forcing the Italian to incorporate an independent mode of life. It didn’t take long for Flora to eventually pass away due to her sickness that has long been eating at her lifeline so young. At the mere age of 37, Flora Natale left her riches and rights to Cecilia who only reached her 16th nameday. With no parents to turn to, she led a semi-decent life of her own. News of her heritage travelled across the cities and people found her story to be enticing, which resulted in the decision made by the youngest Natale brother to adopt her into the household, following his eldest sister’s dying wishes.
Julius Natale raised her like his own, but unlike him, there were people who did not favor her presence as it was a reminder of the tragic event that took place 16 years ago. Against his wife’s wishes, Julius decreed that the raven haired female will be raised like a Natale in their household but made sure she is not to have any outside contact nor influence that will ‘hinder’ her fidelity towards the family that she was supposed to despise because of what they did to her parents. Cecilia grew up knowing what she was, it was impossible not to when you had a vindictive aunt who took every opportunity to remind you that you were a mistake. Had that been the only influences in her life the young Italian might have turned into another pathetic Cinderella story, walking around an abused shadow in a home where she was not wanted; but that was not her fate. Thanks to her uncle she was raised by a contingent of the finest tutors that the land could offer, the very same people who had taught the previous emperors providing her with an education that couldn’t be matched. Her uncle was ever silent and cold towards her, though in rare moments she would catch him looking at her seeing that spark of love in the depths of his eyes that was undeniable. She lived for those moments, taking strength in his silent pride and ever striving to earn those looks. It was in the public’s attention that Julius Natale adored his niece as much as he loved his eldest sister. It didn’t help that Celia was an exact replica of Flora but with dark locks and different eye color.
Thankfully she hadn’t been completely cut off from her mother, a trunk of her journals had been one of the legacy she had left behind that really mattered to her, and in the lonely hours of the night she’d fill her time reading, following the words like a bright beacon into the depths of her mother’s soul. It was in those glances and the brittle pages that Cecilia found who she was, the gangly child with stringy blonde hair blossomed into a tall and statuesque woman. The only difference between herself and Flora was her hair and eyes, for they were the same startling hazel as her father’s. Due to his wife’s angsty cries, Julius sent Celia off to train as a healer at the best institution in Ravenna. She spent her entire youth there, training to be the best healer of her class, and excelled at the arts of toxic, poison and medicine alike.
Months before her 25th name day, she was deported to the military to start her duties replacing the head healer. The war has gotten worse over the years and thousands laid dead every time she entered one tent to another, at some point Celia fell sick from the epidemic that plagued the land. During that time, there was nothing recorded for tuberculosis. Despite her fatigued state, she continued her work until she was no longer able to stand up properly, much less treat another. Coughing from day 1 came to its painful end when day 245 came. Contrary to other’s beliefs, she was able to withstand the painful stake process of her life for 8 months whilst others passed at 4. Coincidentally, she was nearing her end exactly on her name day, to which she requested for privacy inside her own quarantined tent. She couldn’t remember anything else, not even the last memory she had before dying, or even how it felt to die.
The moment she woke up, she felt a searing headache that travels from her limbs and joints up to her head. She still had no recollection of her previous memories, only her name and who she was. Celia found herself in a room, an actual room like the one back home, and not a constricted tent. The room was well furnished and the designs spoke a lot of the architecture in Emilio-Romagna. It was enough to tell her that she was still in Italy. Her memories came back a few days later, but she wasn’t sure if she wanted to bear the pain, knowing fully well she would never be able to return to her life. The first person she met shortly after she woke up was a guy that only called himself Gideon. Upon finding out that she was now something they call Valkyr, Celia had a hard time grasping the reality she was now living in. Locking herself inside the room for weeks long, Gideon respected her choices. All that rung in her head was how the Valkyrie witnessed her terrible timing of death at such a young age, and decided to turn her and gift her with a second chance. Everything was overwhelming for the young Valkyr, but she eventually accepted her new life and followed Gideon. He told her everything she needed to know, and found it in herself to carve a new pathway. The entire time she ventured with Gideon, she applauded his patience in taking his time with her though she had closed him off for weeks the first time.
She spent her entire time following Gideon like a sister, aiding him in whatever he needed and operated as one of their operants to guard the secret of the supernatural community as well as supervising the other Valkyr. Celia always had her eyes and ears out for any information regarding their kind, with every tidbit being at the end of her fingers. Her loyalty to Gideon was unprecedented. Celia knew nothing more than to make use of her services underlined with him. The Italian Valkyr also found out that she was the first progeny from Gideon, being the first person the Valkyrie has ever turned. It was in 12th century Russia, where she met Atticus Thornbrook, the celestial she would then form Volakiri with. Hearing all the stories that stemmed out from the creation of their species, knowing about the Celestials were not a foreign concept to her. Though she had no idea he was one, up until she noticed just how weak she was around him that was becoming increasingly often whenever he was within distance. Upon finding out about his origin, as they confided with each other, they found that it was possible to coexist together without hurting the other party.
She would never admit it that she felt something for him, not in any day, the bitterness that crept in her while making its home once upon a time ago, would not allow her to do so. Regardless of her confliction, she agreed to form Volakiri with Atticus, shortly after deciding it was the best option for them both. It didn’t seem like Celia was willing to leave any time soon, and while she was fighting with herself, she knew the attraction she felt for him was real. Once the bond was formed, everything felt more enhanced between them both, almost as if she could feel what he felt and vice versa. She remembered meeting him as someone precious to her friend, Anastasia. Celia never thought something bloomed between the two of them while he was busy searching for Emilia. Forming the bond took everything in her, to make it work. It wasn't an easy thing to carry out but with both of their consent, it managed to go through. Celia, despite having lived 800 years as a Valkyr, acted like an inexperienced person who just got tugged into this.
What seemed to be the start of her fluttering died down as quick as how it started. All she knew, was that one night, she took it up herself that she couldn't take it any longer and decided to leave. Volakiri didn't make things easier for them, sure they were able to endure one another's company, but it came at a price. Celia, who's always kept her bloodlust at bay for centuries worth of practice over the years with Gideon's help, that side of her decided to return and plague herself with dark thoughts. She knew what blood-ridden Valkyr were; monsters that morphed exactly into what the myth and lore that they were said to be about-- bloodthirsty soulless beasts that knew no reason to anything. She got intoxicated with Atticus’ blood and at one point, forced herself to flee and leave so no harm would befall the celestial while also making sure she was in check of her own self. She could not risk any addiction forming. The Italian Valkyr ran back to Gideon and had to undergo rough rehabilitation, which worked thankfully to their odds. It took the Valkyrie years to get Celia back on her feet and working like her old self, but even after then, she never returned to Russia, ever again. It did not mean she didn't look over him. At the end of the day, she was acting his protector.
When she felt the lingering pain the moment Atticus was stabbed, it left a mark in her. The bond between them felt strained and it was as if her own limbs were ripped once, before being left to be mended by her regenerative abilities. It was indescribable. She remembered passing out because of it, and woke up to a fleeting feeling, like her partner was gone but not truly gone as a whole? She didn't know how to describe it, but it was what haunted her nights ever since. Celia kept thinking about him, even until today. There was no ignoring the empty and blank space being left behind, but a part of her strived to believe he was still alive. Somewhat.
She did move on, perhaps. Atticus never left her state of mind, but she went on with her life, carrying out her duties throughout the next 900 years. She made use of her healer abilities back in the day and became a frequent user of poison and studied more about the herbs that could be used. She also lived up to her given nickname, Silver Tongue, due to her spying abilities and mainly how easy it was for her to make others fall into her spell as she dug in for any spoils. It made her work easier, and was a line of occupation that she took pride in.
One day, when Gideon told her regarding his wish to move to Evermore, she complied and said nothing to oppose. At the end of the day, she promised to follow and aid Gideon, the first promise and oath she made to the Valkyrie when he first turned her. She intends to uphold every word. They also manifested a new ability of teleportation that still did not sit well with Celia until today, because of how complex it was. Two years can pass and she still could not get a hold of it properly. Per usual, the Italian Valkyr followed her leader to the supernatural populated city and began establishing their secret organization, in hopes to help other lone Valkyr that might search for their purpose in this world. She felt something flickering ever since the second comet fell, but knew nothing of it. Little did she know, she was about to embark a journey that needed previous continuation.