How long has it been among this land? More than a year, that would be certain. The light rises as it always has been since the man has set foot in this land, bewildered by monsters and beasts.
The Reptile Kingdom has not changed, save for the places around his sector. Much like the other guilds of hunters, the particular batch of foreigns has greatly quenched the violence that surrounds the more vulnerable, while letting nature take hold as the beasts hunt each other as it always has been.
The man reflects on his years amidst the land, everything that flashed in his vision. The creatures he repelled, the people he met, the man who made him part of a guild.
...the woman who bludgeoned her way in his life...
Oh yes, a woman. One who once tried to 'Off with his head' by accident with a rusty sword.
The man looks outside his house, laying on his bed on the back as the sunlight gently makes its way inside his window. His hands clasped together, his mind recaps what she has become.
"A grown and beautiful woman, making heads turn with every passage", he chuckles slightly as his mind gathers the detailed shape of her form. From the silky hair reminiscent of fields of grass to the smooth skin pigmented in tangerine, nothing escaped his memory. The white markings added over time served only to further enchant her appearance in a somewhat strange manner.
Though the features most breath-taking about her would be her visage, hidden by a mask firmly knitted. An unfair disguise to those thirsting to see their eyes upon her complete person. Her perky features were already edging those unfortunate to meet her to overstay their welcome, what with a generous chest adorning her body and the obvious tone across her limbs, in no way dismissing her feminine self.
"I lost the count track of the men who courted her simply after seeing her once. It's always surprising to see her dismiss them one by one. Sometimes, even groups at once", he continues as he now remembers the wave of dejected men walking away at the Guild's central hub, forests, jungles and more after an explicit rejection from her.
"Heh. Sometimes they were too 'pretty', whatever that means. Other times, too adamant on showing off their manliness, a thing I see very often around the kingdom. I remember a man accompanied by two of those wyverns called Raths who kept calling out the overly macho warriors deadset on taking them. What a show that was to find out they had already picked someone in a different path than brawn".
Indeed, this Shakalaka fancied herself a different brand of men. Apparently, 'rugged' men is more what she looks for. Unsurprising, since she was toned herself. Toned, and still very woman-like.
Soon letting his mind wander away, the man sets his eyes to the outside, basking in the full display of the outer light. A skull the size of a helmet lays on the cupboard next to his bed. It glows in a dim manner, resting in standby. With his standard skull off, a many would have difficulty in recognizing him by his title alone as the 'Phantasm Ram'.
Even dressed in his brown garb, no one would see his blue marks across the face as a reminder. His face had more time in the sun as of late. A curious display as he was not one to remove his skull to often. His blue eyes matched the marks as well as his brownish skin. So many have commented on this new behavior of his around the island where he now lives. To them, his reasoning was and is always the same...
Just then, a familiar sensation grabbed his mind away from window staring. A sudden but soft pair of lips comes to meet him, the two melding. His view is graced by emerald eyes staring deep into his own, accompanied by a flow of green falling sideway. Blush is present on the other's cheeks, just as his start heating his face.
The kiss lasts for minutes before the two detach from each other, with the woman still laying over him. He could feel her generous chest squeezing over his own.
Gasping for her breath, the lady speaks without reserve "Good morning minion! Did minion sleep well?"
Taking his arms to her back to lock her in a lover's embrace he nods "Almost as well as you seem to have each time".
"Well, I always see dozzing minion in mornings. Makes me anticipate today day!" she grins with shut eyes before her expression turns to curiosity "What was minion thinking about?"
"Well..." Zaeer quickly juggles his fleeting memories snuffed out by her sudden kiss "All those men you've rejected by the hundred. I'm still impressed by how instantly you've dismissed their words of courtship".
"Men tried seducing Kaiula with shallow words! Have no substance over me!" she immediately responds, putting a pouting face while straddling him.
"I see", says the man as he slowly gets himself up while still sitting on his bed, taking a hand on her cheek. The movement catches her out of her pout as his thought decipher what she was going with this "I think they already know you're not some woman seeking someone to spend the night with. If not, I'll be around".
Her eyes return to sincerity as they stare back in his "Really? Minion thinks so?"
"Without a doubt" he answers with no hesitation "Besides, you're already taken if I remember". His finger slightly nudges across her cheek, causing a very strong blush from Kaiula.
One of her hand goes to reach his, pressing on it with eyes closed. Zae-er's other hand at the time proceeds to go to her waist, simply to hug his dear. A wordless act, catching her further without thought, simply leaning on his neck as the rays of the sun coincidently centered on them.
Kaiula soon bounces out of bed with renewed vigor. Her usual expression of confidence is returned as well. Zaeer crosses his arms, reaching for his skull as she starts stretching, only to find her hands grabbing his arms "Not yet, minion, breakfast time! Can't eat with skull on head!"
Before he could say anything, the overly energetic woman pulled his hands while running, making the man stumble as he follows "Hold on! Hold on!"
Dragging Zae-er to the kitchen, his eyes were unprepared for a preview of a feast. The table of the kitchen was littered with meals of all categories. The main meal was a wild boar cooked in the absolute middle. A plate of eggs on the left side, eggs of all sizes and variations. Bread diverse as the eggs populated the right side of the table. All accompanied with smaller bowls of salads, cereals and what not. Such was the amount of food that the table threatened to crumble under the weight.
Zae-er loudly slapped his hand against his face, completely astonished by the 'breakfast' which looked more like something whipped for a king "How did you--"
"Hehe, I knew minion would be impressed. Minion forgot I good cook", she winks at him, gently grabbing his arm to lead him to a seat.
Finding a chair, the maskless ram marvels at the aromas assaulting his nostrils while Kaiula finds a seat next to him. A plate of everything fills his view, with a few words for him to proceed "Hehe, dig in!"
An hour passes, ending with the dishes once full now as deserted as small buns on an evening. Zae-er toils with the cleaning of now empty dishes while Kaiula could be found nestled on the chair, leaned dangerously close to the ground. The man had his skull helm put on, as he was to rush to the hub soon after.
"I still forget you're a hunter gather every time", says the man, a huge smile behind that ram skull".
"For shame, minion! Kaiula best cook! Know that!" her voice broadcasts her mask also on. A few tiny bags are gathered by her feet with a list of things to grab out in the wild.
"That may be the very case". Finished with the dishes, he throws his hands at both sides, his emerald dagger and reverberation puppet coming to his fingers through a siphoning well "But regardless, I'm going now. Apparently, there's something they want to show me". Zaeer turns to the door, walking with no haste.
Hearing his footsteps gradually fading away, the tangerine woman bounces out of her chair, straddling to him "Wait!" He turns back, only in time to see her pounce at him with open arms. His instincts kicking in, he braces himself for the collision, spreading his own arms to intercept her.
Being used to her jumping at him with no warning, Zae-er was able to keep a steady footing. Far from surprised, the man simply awaited her usual leg lock to keep him in place, though they'd often go for his waist instead of his legs.
"Minion forgot super-duper good luck hug!" she shouts while a faint green light escapes her pores. Zae-er breathes in, his senses saturated with the smoothness of her skin, one not bothered by the leather garb he wears so often.
"My bad", he utters, as her legs slowly descend to stand as he does, her arms still firmly clutched around him.
"Minion be careful now, ok? Kaiula beat up whoever try to hurt minion!" she says, a tinge of venom directed at any potential interloper in his path. Behind his skull, Zaeer could he looking at her back, wondering what's with this newfound attitude.
For the second year they have been together, Zae-er has noted a few coming changes in Kaiula's act. Mostly the fact that more and more, she was becoming protective of him, despite knowing full well of his combat capacity. Despite seeing over and over of his clear ability to do much more than merely defend himself, to literally tap into powers not seen by most, something drives her to act as some sort of sentinel. Something he can't really explain. Whatever it happens to be, it must be a rooted one in her psyche...or her mind. As a man newly showered in a new perspective of monsters other than violence, this was quite perplexing to him.
Something to look more onto later, as the officer has made it clear that he was needed back at the central hub. Their hug is but an ephemeral one, soon leaving each other to their own devices. Their hands part from the other with constraint, one that but those in a couple could see. He could see the sadness invade her fair visage behind that mask of hers. At the same time, his own heart winced at the prospect of parting from her, even for mere hours. But, being necessary, they do so, each with their own thing to do.
Zae-er makes his way toward the hub, having for little more than 30 minutes of walking distance to do. His path, riddled with wheat and grass, feels like a tranquil one. Aside from the usual cacophony of beasts brawling for supremacy, nothing out of the ordinary, even by his standard.
His footsteps become increasingly drowned out by the approaching galore of sounds from the Hunter Guild's City, a place unending with activities even in the dark of night. As he walks, he notices a few faces he met before. Most happen to be clients, asking for escorts after an unfortunate meeting with predators of all kind in the forests. His continued pace toward the central hub catches the eye of many of those, including the aristocrats who once thought themselves untouchable. They wave at the Phantasmic Ram, returned with a 'hello' gesture from him "Seems a lot have decided to hire service around here".
Finally reaching the central hub, an old face, at least to his terms, greets him in an embrace "Ram man! You're here early!"
Zae-er returns the embrace, making sure his skull's horns avoid poking the man "Old man! Didn't think you'd greet me so early either".
"Well, I had to" explain the recruiter "With your exceptional work around here and with the news of your first month off, I had to see one of my finest catches".
"Finest?" Zae-er scratches his skull's forehead "I believe I safeguarding many others, but surely you must be overpraising me".
"No, no. Just like all the strange people who came in other hubs, it's good to have some of our own. Especially one who has been able to give insight to most of our new demands".
"Really? I'm surprised they're still here, to be honest", lets out the skull man.
The officer chuckles a bit "My friend, surely you know of the vast wealth outsiders can acquire. Be it raw materials, usable items or otherwise, they all seek it. If anyone was to flee at the first sign of danger, then this place would still be undiscovered. By many at large. Unfortunately, it also means we have unwanted individuals roaming around. I trust you've had your fair share".
Zae-er had indeed his fair of ill-willed people coming about. Be it in the manner in which they mistreat the non-violent monsters, the heist they pull on unsuspecting caravans or newcomers or perhaps, the manner in which most carry out illegal duties. He has seen his fair share and more.
The officer could see it even with his eyes clad in a runic skull "My point is, there are bad individuals that may spill in these lands and I'm glad to have intriguing people like you putting a chip on their shoulder every now and then".
"I guess that would make sense" concedes Zae-er before turning to the door leading to the Constantine gates "What about the reason you called me? I was told it was something of utmost importance".
"Ohh, that" remembers the officer "A pair of individuals have somehow managed to reach for our gates. Said they were looking for a 'Zae-Er'. At first, I couldn't really pinpoint anyone with a strange name".
"But I suppose you managed to find something in little time" replied the skull man.
"They bear a similar fashion to yours, especially at the head region". The old veteran makes circles around Zaeer with his gloved finger "Seeing as you're the only one with a full-fledged 'exotic' on your entire head, I was wondering..."
"So my parents are here", let out Zae-er "It's been a while since I've met them".
"Parents? Well, I'll be. They say the apple never fall far from the tree. Considering your choice of attire, I can say that expression isn't wrong" chuckles the veteran, gesturing his guest to follow as he walks over to the gateway chambers.
Zae-er has had the exclusive right to use said gates ever since his anointment as a member. But, with all the things he had affair with, within and without the borders, such a thought had never wandered in his mind. truth He did not think they would be the one to come, much less through one of those phantom-like gates.
But, as they closed into these portals, a flow of people was continuously walking in and out. His old recruiter directs his view with a pat on the shoulder "Further ahead. I've had them waiting in the standby room to allow some peace away from this cacophony, though I'm guessing you'll bring them away".
Zae-er follows further to a room. Stepping beyond the frame, he sees them. A man and woman, both sheltering their visages with an animal skull. The man's skull his antelopes, one of a deer. Tiny crystals adorn each extremity, playing in a harmonious song in each nudge. His garb is painted in green and white like a splash. Tiny metal plates decorate the extremity as well, his nails as sharp as the blades of a morning star, yet currently infused with the same color of his crystals. Likely to avoid causing unnecessary injuries, seeing as its sharp edge looked blunted out by said trail of energy.
The woman was dressed in a set of summer colors in contrast of the spring veil her other bore. Her skull's horns were twisted and reaching for the sky, but only in terms of centimeters. Brimming in a dim but warm yellow, they feature thin vines growing out of it, with flowers yet to bloom. Her dress opted more for an elegant skirt rather than a garb, a relatively modest one. One reaching down to her knees, slightly pressed against her legs to avoid being stuck anywhere, with tiny orbs sealed by equally tiny corks.
Like their son, the two were odd even among the strangers walking in and out. No wonder did they instantly recognized their offspring. "Zae-Er!" they shout in unison, rushing to take him in their arms.
The embrace spouts a bit of energy out, dangling in the surrounding area as the parents start cuddling their infant. The room starts lighting up in what looked like cycles of the seasons. The tinge of winter, spoiled in blue, was the only absent aura.
Eventually, the dancing shades dissipated as the three ended their accolade. The father, now noting the old veteran staring at them with a semblance of astonishment pats his boy on the back "Perhaps an introduction would be of hand?"
Well ahead of him, the mother simply walks forward and bows slightly "I am Moni-Ia. Our son has told us of your ability to make honey laced with words. I am glad to be in your presence".
The officer was a bit startled by her. Mostly because it now hinged on him that three skull bearers were in his presence. Never the less, he strived to present himself, only for the father to approach him as well.
"I am Tori-Er. Our offspring has spoken of your approach to the comfort of those who serve under you. I appreciate your intentions to those risking their lives".
While well aware of their words of kindness, the old man just now realized the nature of their profession with the headgear they bore. While not essentially frightened, they could see his discomfort. Seeking Zae-Er in his own was already somewhat dangerous, considering his very appearance. Now, now he faced three with the skulls of fallen animals on their head. Arcane skulls of fallen animals.
Tori-Er, able to subtly see the discomfort of the man they now outnumber, raises his hands to his skull "This is somewhat unnerving to you, is it not? Our apologies, I often forget foreigners has not quite comfortable in a conversation with a skull"
"No, no, it's fine", replies the veteran "I just realized I've basically recruited someone a bit...strange, even by this realm's standard". Slowly but surely, his composure makes a return, hearing that despite their striking appearances, the trio was quite human under their exotic attires.
"Well, out about we continue this somewhere else? A place with more light, perhaps?" suggested Moni-Ia while she and Tori-Er began walking out the door.
Zae-Er walked next to his old recruiter while the two faded behind the door. He crosses his arms "They're going to want to listen to every piece of history this place has. And everything you've sent me to. I hope you're ready for that". A faint laughter escapes his skull.
"Ohh, don't worry. Initial fright is gone, my good friend. It's just a striking realization to witness a family of shaman-like people together" replies the old man, muffling a snicker "They're the ones who better be ready to stand still for hours on no end if they're so intended on hearing all of it".
Zae-Er pats him on the back before walking, followed by the same "David. They're my parents. Patience is in our blood. Besides, it's not like you'll be lecturing them on the boring growing grass."
"True, true" acquiesces David, pull his notepad out of his back, recalling every single mission he had a tally to Zae-Er "If everything you've told me is true, well, they won't be bored. Not at all".
Far from the Guild Hunter city, another patch of land, more nature-driven littered with plant yet to bloom. A familiar masked lady walks toward the nearest pond. The surrounding area is sleeping just as must as the flowers. Tha air is tranquil, clouded in a gentle green mist. The wildlife is tranquil, in a sleep-state. Average size predators like raptors and other similar beings avoid the ruckus of violence among this place. Bigger ones like Tyrannosaurus avoid this place outright.
Approaching said pond, a shining water, Kaiula breathes in deeply, her stomach inflating and deflating. Slowly, her legs bend to a kneel before the water. Her fingers come together and reach in the interlocutor body of the water. Her mask comes undone via a purple veil surrounding it, static in the nearby space. The cupped water comes close to her lips...
She repeats the process a dozen times over, feeling increasingly parched with it. By the 12th time, a satisfied exhaustion sigh escapes her, prompting her to sit with her hands on her back. Her green eyes scout the surrounding area, a content smile on her face. The wind slowly dances on the twigs and branches. Leaves and grass, all blend in harmony. "Soon enough, he see place and know...know I really lo--
"Ohh, you're still here?"
Kaiula's mask immediately tethers to her face like a second skin. Her gaze swiftly turns to the source of the voice. A man leaning on a nearby tree shows off his confident grin. The tangerine toned woman stares back at him, a questioning in her eyes uncovered by her emerald refined mask. Before long, however, she simply turns slightly to face said man, a wave of her hand...
"Hi, talker man!!"
He raises one of his hands in an outrage "Damn it, woman! My name is not talker man!"
"It's not?" she question in a tone that seems to be genuine "But man talker always speak about trivial things to Kaiula. Kaiula call him talker man. Fitting name for man talker!"
"My name is Gestalt the Majestic! I am known throughout this forsaken land of your as well as outside realms!"
"Ohh...ok!" the tangerine toned woman returns to her water bed, putting on a flower in the state of bloom. It was mere hours from doing so, but she was looking forward to it. Her eyes could already anticipate their radiance. Ohh how beautiful it will be as soon--
"Are you ignoring me, woman?!" screams Gestalt as he forcefully takes a step away from the tree.
"Hmm...no", she says, now resting on her stomach while admiring her handiwork floating in the river. Hundreds of flowers yet to bloom lingered on it, ready to give off their shine "Talker man just white noise in my ears. Kaiula busy tending to place".
He takes a deep breath, a brief laughter "So, a man presents himself to you, shining with the one thing you craving monsters ask for. I have more than most would dream of, a testament to my boundless experience..."
Kaiula hums in her head, swinging her feet in the air with a whimsical tone.
"...but there you are, not even paying proper tribute. I don't know whether it is common in your kind. And yet, I still wanted that desirable woman in my sights..."
He starts chuckling in a fit "So I thought, maybe you needed a demonstration. Not that it made sense since I have heard of monster women literally jumping at the feet of peasants left and right but anyway. So, I brought my best war gear, presented myself as a man of my worth. The same charisma and worthiness that got me so many damsels before. But what did you do? You scoffed at me! You scoffed and left me without words!"
Kaiula turns back to the man, a lazy but precise manner whilst still hunched on her chest " No, no, no. Kaiula busy doing things. Thing things. Couldn't speak to man gloating. But Kaiula finished now. Listen to whining man whining for some reason"
Her eyes turn to idly glancing the surrounding area as she takes a sitting position next to the riverbed, placing a hand inside the clear body. An absence Gestalt was dearly angered over.
And yet, his chuckle turns to a laughter of contempt "Everything I tried, useless! Even though you were supposed to swear loyalty to me like the others did before hand. It's hilarious. So I thought, maybe you have someone already? Well..."
The man suddenly approaches a few meters to an emotionally distracted Kaiula "I can tell from here that he hasn't done anything, has he? Maybe you're just teasing him like you're doing to me? Hahaha, you're such a freak compared to the rest. Oh man, why did such a body be owned by such a...'mutant'".
That word suddenly caught her attention. It wasn't necessarily true that she had been teasing Zae-Er. No, rather, she wanted their union to be special. But, was he became tired of her charades? Was he waiting for her to take lead or...
...her eyes widen in a revelation. Something he said about this whole ordeal has reminded her of a matter.
"And then..." those words pulled her out of her thought state, alert yet again, but feeling hurt by the man's words "...and then, I hear you speak like some five years old. A woman with a body sculpted by a god stuck with a speech impediment? How heart-wrenching! Such a mood killer, I'll tell you what".
Kaiula struggles to find what she was thinking about. His words, they were reaching to her in some way. But why? Was it that her significant other had, like he said, enough of her speech? Her eyes lower, her head craning gradually down, like a grieving widow.
"Even the most feral of monster woman have a better speech than you happen to. Not only the woman of my desires outright shuts me down, but she does it with the speaking skill of a babbling infant? Hahaha, I must really have rotten luck! Hahahahaha!"
Soon enough the man's throat begins retracting, an indication of his overstayed welcome. His steps stop making circles, directing him to the nearest gap between two trees. But not before leaving her with a 'tip' "I'll tell you what, freak! Whoever you have your eyes on will certainly not accept you with such a disgusting speech you have. If this man is half the worth I am, then he'll want a woman with a certain class, as well as loyalty. Not that it matters anyway because I'll be here to make you mine! This is the last time you will ever reject me! The moment I have you in my grasp, I'll train you to make sure you never, and I mean NEVER dare to reject my hand ever again!"
His steps turn more and more muffled until his very shape disappears into the forest. Kaiula trembled at his words. While the last segments looked to her like some typical bravado spouted by a petulant manchild, his bit about the preference of a man had cut her even deeper to her gut. The words she tries formulating end up lost in her tongue. Hurriedly, she scurries back to the pond, dropping her dagger in the way. She removes her mask, throwing it at the side and stares deeply at the water before her.
A singular vision appears before her as the reflection of her fair visage. One clear and tranquil increasingly distorted the ruptures in the pool. The image changes, like her mind, folds, desperately trying to remember why his words had cut so deep. A vision of horns became apparent. Horn dressed on her head, even as she wears not a skull as a hinderer. The ruptures soon ceased...
"What is...?" she whispers. Her eyes reflecting her own vision, different.The horns adorning her head on said reflection are fluorescent..
Wait! Fluorescent. Her mind lights up in a sudden display of clarity "Minion! Kaiula forget about minion! Damn it! Must get back!"
In a jolt of immediate haste, she rolls on her back, throwing her feet in the air to use as momentum. Her body flings a few meters back, landing on her feet.
Turning away from the pond, she starts running. Running away from it. Running away from it all. Tears stream away from her eye sockets "Why did Kaiula forget about minion like that?! Flowers placed in way too soon. Minion miss the blooming and lighting up if not brought here. Miss gift I worked for! Worked for him!"
Her sprint picks up speed, a violet afterglow following as an indication of wind carrying her feet. Better hurry, for they open in the darkest of nights. A year spent in nurturing to the small area, for a singular purpose. Her mind constantly flashing back to the skull of her 'minion', the expression he might make, the words he could form, the actions he would make of her gift.
All about to be ruined unless she gets to him in time...
Running she does, all the way home in the hurried pace. A path of broken things litters behind her. The neighborhood's vases, in pieces. The carved path burned out by her flashing steps. No time to think about that!
Kaiula reaches out for the knob, only for her body to collapse. A symphony of breaths escapes her masked lips. Loud breaths. Running across the land without so much as taking a singular breath had his toll. Heavy sweats pour down her forehead.
Her grip on the knob loosens with the excessive sweat now seeping from every pore. An eye shut from the heating liquid, she contemplates the sun shining in on her.
A minute! Just a minute! Surely she could get a mere minute to rest. All sweaty and gasping for air. Her clothes drenched in the same perspiration.
Looking at herself, she groans. Another issue rises on the horizon "Ugghh...Kaiula all smelly now! Can't present myself like this! "
In the fashion of universal second wind, she stands up, pumping at the door, to pry it open. Her eyes set on two strangers at the table with their eyeless slags gazing at her. A jolt briefly runs up her spine, straightening her up.
"Huh...hi..." she waves meekly, to the unrelenting figures. The one bearing yellow on her garb slowly raises her hand, palm facing a fidgeting Shakalaka as the longest of her finger bends down, followed by the rest of the four. The pattern repeats, gesturing in a simple 'hello' from her. Bribes of yellow sparks fly from said fingers accompanied by a muffled chuckle from the woman.
"Why hello there, stranger" she responds, continuing with her finger motion "Seems we may have found the source of our son's constant interruption".
The other one keeps his gaze locked on Kaiula, but one pretty devoid of ill-will despite the eyeless slags of his skull "Which sort? The background voice with every communication or his sudden kidnapping every 5 minutes?"
"I'd have to say both" replies the woman before turning back to the confused Kaiula "Won't you come sit with us?"
Left bewildered by the presence of those two, Kaiula never the less slowly takes a seat at the furthest chair available. She collapses her armpits as quickly as possible, discomforted by her own sweaty odor.
"So, pretty little lady, do tell what exactly you happen to be doing here", asks the woman, leaning on her bone chin "I've never heard of someone like you around".
"Kaiula lives here", she says with as little movement as possible.
"Well, you must be our boy's roommate thenstatement. interjects the green-colored man at the other side, his hands idle on the table, his gaze equally fixated on her "Which is strange because when he presented us this domain, we only saw one bed".
"That's right!" remembers the woman in a slightly higher pitch "Nothing here allowed us to known someone else was around. Which begs the question..."
"...which of the two actually lives here?" asks the man, his hand shifting to form a rest for his chin, picking interest in the direction of the idle chat.
"Well, hon, maybe she's temporary letting our boy stay here. I mean, there is a sofa".
"Or perhaps, they have a different shift enabling them to sleep in the same bed but in opposite times", opposed the man.
"No wait, we taught him to make use of as much space as possible. Maybe he's got some room she's not aware of". At this point, her gaze could be felt spouting left and right, seemingly searching for a possible passage.
Watching the two skull wearers throw increasingly ludicrous theories around to her, Kaiula turned more flustered at the idea of her dear minion being nothing more than some loiterer. A man and a woman inhabiting in in the same house, with a singular bed that looks like it's made to suit two or more individuals. Clearly, they're living together! But somehow, these two...
"No! No! No! Minion not like that! He no sleazy stalker like others! He--
"Ohh?" The two turn heads to a grumpy Kaiula a finger in the air in outrage. Though the tide of steam erupting to her ears soon mellows down, realizing her armpit is in broad daylight.
"He's what?" asks the woman, voice unhinged by the bone helm.
"Why stop now?" carries on the man, clearly intrigued by her impromptu outburst "You were saying he was not what we thought he was. You think you can make an assumption against his own parents?"
Kaiula gulped a bit. No wonder they looked so familiar to her beloved. Out of anyone in this realm, none else had the foreign sense to bear an animal's skull in its entirely, let alone one brimming with arcane might.
It also made sense for them to be around at this time since both her and Zae-Er were currently on vacation. A prime time for a parental visit.
[But bone head parents trashing skull head minion!], her mind fold, unsure of what to make of it. Perhaps they sought a different path for him, least of all stuck in what they'd consider an agreeable one.
"Well, you were rebutting our possible statements, were you not?" spits the mother, pulling Kaiula out of her thought "We're waiting to hear this so-called rebuttal you had to throw".
"Unless you wish to retract what your hot air had to say" throws the father, further defying her opposite statement. Come on now, let's hear it! He's...? He's what?"
"Yes, what is he? We're hoping you don't spout some cookie-cutter nonsense people are fond of using, now are you?"
Kaiula lets out a small sigh [So much for first impressions]. Forsaking her immediate discomfort at the unending sweat, she quickly moves off her chair, instead, planting her foot firmly on it. Her fist clamps down on said table, cracking the surface of her end.
"Kaiula thinks you both wrong! Bone head parents trashing own son, son that obviously do nothing but good! Kaiula see it! Kaiula feel it! Only people not in part with, people who do bad. Just bad!"
The two slightly back away, a brief glance in each other's direction. A split second after, the mother scoffs "Of course she'd split nonsense for someone she barely knows".
"So what?! If true, then being stupid sounding not matter! You his parents, yet you bad mouth him...Must be some miracle minion not ending like the likes of you parents! Must not have listened to people talking about skull head".
Kaiula takes a small breather, still bearing their unnoticeable gaze. Looking at the two, she scoffs this time "What I saying? Of course, you no listen to people talking. Just going with last memory of minion. Kaiula not know what he may have done, but whatever bad vibes I sense from you two, he not like this anymore. Not anymore! Otherwise, minion not spend 2 years teaching me..."
"Ohh? Teaching you?" asks the two in a symphony. Her speech has opened a small rift in their otherwise indifference.
"Yes...teach me many things..." she sighs. Her foot leaves the chair in a resigned manner, limp and monotone. She takes a slow and cluttered turn to the opposite of the seat, her rump falling loosely over it.
"Kaiula was different before. Not so good with magic. Not so changed. 3 years before, Kaiula boasting of self. Branding greatsword. Able to beat many things, but also full of myself. Loud. Obnoxious. Arrogant. Kaiula eventually met match, bruised and beaten. Humiliated..."
Another sigh escapes her mask. Purple threads flee her fingertips, inscribing a glyph on the table. The mother and father's gazes lower gradually, slowly witnessing the details of the glyph. The language it is written in. The way the arcane letters are stitched. Their eyes, hidden by their bone helms, widen in astonishment.
"An amphitheater..." The sun tide arm falls from her neck base, planted on the wooden table. Her nail touches a fragment of the theater. A microscopic thread sticks to her arm, swirling around it. Raising it to her eye socket, she observes it. The fragment dances around her finger before gently fading away.
The two look at each other for a second. Questions littered their minds, but it would have to wait, for the glyph turned to a mimic cry representing a jungle. A small sketch of a feminine form, shaped by line tussles around with what looks like a weapon, met with another larger. The small form, bearing a vague mask on its face, is thrown to the ground by a mighty swing of the other's weapon.
"Knowing Kaiula could only do so much, have heard of Hunter Guilds. Wanted to show people Kaiula best there is, but couldn't get officialised. Too brash they said, not disciplined, they said..."
As she speaks, the theater changes, representing the feminine form before what looks like a sketch of lines shaping a desk with another figure throwing down a paper. The female sketch slumps in failure.
The green tide continues to watch, amazed despite his helm prohibiting any display of awe from the outside [To think this woman would be able to display an absolute focus to seamlessly play out the Amphitheater with nothing more than her words...]
"So, Kaiula thought maybe she pick someone powerful under wing to guide thgem wit Kaiula leadership. Many others did that too. Kaiula wanted part in, to be recongnized. But them, heard two potential minions come from outsite place. One blondi, one skull head..."
The glyph shapes a vague entrance in the form of a portal, two figures walking from opposite direction. Their path is set, crossed and merged, no matter how brief it turns out to be. One of the figures bears a blonde stain on his sketch, representing very well kept hair. He walks with unbound confidence, a sword bound to his left hip.
The other individual walks with no less confidence, yet it bears no inflation from him, replaced by a humble stride. Two elegantly curved horns escape the opposite sides of his head, declaring his face to be hidden by a bone helm.
"Kaiula pandered between two men, thinking both would accept Kaiula guide, allowing me to be shown proper respect...at least, what I try telling myself. I know I not that mighty back then. Other monster trying to get companion for Hunter Guilds too. Think maybe we share one, serve man and endeavors. But Kaiula not wanted that! Wanted minion that follow me. Ended up in fight that woke potential minions up..."
In an instant, the glyph sketches her words, representing the cat-like mamono in a gray series of lines against herself, an orange drawing bearing a weapon ill-suited for her person. Each time the tiny figures clash weapons, a small spark comes to life for but a moment.
"But, after skull head woke up, Kaiula saw him. Wanted him as minion. Not sure why back then..." A blush splatters left to right across her cheeks like a red rag swathed on her face. Her mask had fallen, her mind overwhelmed by her emotions she felt back then, as it grew. So much that she forgot to focus on keeping it guarding.
Aware of this, her eyes forsake the metallic attire, unable to keep her current feelings in check. Her right-hand goes on her left shoulder, accentuating the pose she takes, emerald eyes shut, the green tide of her hair slowly breezing against the wind infiltrated from the window "No matter what I do...no matter when...how...why...where...skull head minion always here for Kaiula. Always here for people asking for things. Never at loss for patience, even with enemies. Shown incredible control, even with Kaiula's initial incompetence. Never lost faith in me..."
Kaiula takes another breather, her eyes slowly opening "Eventually, learned to use minion's magic. Make it my own..." Her words spring forth a small purple butterfly flying toward her free hand. Her irises briefly change to match its wings. The little being lands on one of her idle fingers, flapping happily with zeal.
The mother and father listened on. Despite their bone helms, their sitting stance had changed to a more opened one. She had their curiosity before, but now, Kaiula held their full attention, all too aware of their brand of arcane being cast and displayed by someone foreign to their land
"And, with more time passed, Kaiula feel closer to minion. Even when unable to say, always felt grateful to him. Didn't know at first, but Kaiula fell in love with him. Fell as hard as club smashing dino head. Didn't say anything, too proud..." acting upon these words, her index fingers poke at each other, her stare still swayed to the left.
"Minion gave me chance. Chance that nobody ever gave Kaiula. Gave me time. Gave me patience. Gave me attention. Didn't care about times I get minion in trouble. Minion kept going with me. For that, Kaiula is ever grateful. Even overwhelmed with seducing men who give no second to old Kaiula. Tried their earnest for attention. Found that funny, really..."
As her last word escapes her lips, her gaze rises up to meet those of the disdained parents, one cowled by indignation directed at them. None allows their gaze to falter, though her speech seemed to near its end "Whatever minion do to make parents scowled with shame or whatever, Kaiula don't care. Whatever perception parents have of minion, all false they are. Not longer what you think he is. Believe me or not, but insulting his very person, by assuming he amounts to nothing in your eyes, Kaiula will not accept that! If so ingrate toward minion, then leave Kaiula's domain...this instant!"
Delivered in not by asking. By not a request. Not even a demand. Her blatant order had indigent the two, springing them forth from their chairs. "I'm sorry, that sounded like you were menacing us. Mind repeating what you said?" scowls the father, clearly steaming anger from his bony jaw.
Kaiula makes her intention none the clearer as her foot plants itself on the table's edge. With a mighty thrust, she kicks it all the way to the sink, forcing the two to backstep from it. Their gaze is locked on her, the latter gazing back with her arms crossed. Her anger, while apparent, was tempered, melded by instinct and indignation.
Sporting a murderous intent on each side, all walk slowly to the middle, where the table was before it turned to splinter across the sink. They meet, auras conflicting in sparks. Kaiula's teeth grind, her voice colder than ice "Next one deciding to spit venom at minion, as small as it be, Kaiula will forcefully evict from house. Understand?"
Silence reigns as her words fall. Consternation was palpable, erupted from the opposition. Density could be felt clinging to the ambient air around. The space, washed by their conflicting colors, threatening to lash out at each other, much like the individuals.
The man in green takes yet an inch closer to her, bearing crossed arms as well "To lash out in such a way. Toward one's progenitors, no less. Quite the audacity you have".
"Sure does, does she not?" agrees the mother, walking directly before Kaiula's view. Being slightly taller, her skull head cranes down on her host, meeting with a pair of eyes refusing to whither down before her. "But now that we have established exactly what out host happens to be....one that speaks in a venomous way against those who would know better, there is but one thing to do. Just one..."
"Whatever you want to do, Kaiula wants it nowhere near her, nowhere near minion!" she spits, grinding her teeth. A second before half of her face is accosted softly on a smooth surface. One reminiscing of wind dancing gently on one's face. Sudden, but nay forced, her whole body was slowly slumbered like a sleep desiring worker nearing the end of the day.
A voice, anathema to the one Kaiula was assaulted with filled her ears "My dear little lady! Come here and give your step-mother a hug!~
Only with those words, did Kaiula realized half of her face was pressed on the mother's chest gleaming the warmth of the sun. Hands reaching for her back, to keep her knelt in the current position, she took a few seconds to realize the two of them were also spinning in place. Were the table still in one piece, chances are it would be flung away by her feet flying out of place.
Such a hug lasts for a minute, leaving Kaiula dazed from the impromptu change. Her stance is perturbed, prompting her to search for something to hold on to, to hold out the disjointed sense of balance trying to re-assert itself.
"I think you swung her a bit too eagerly" comments the man, sitting on a chair, just outside the previous hug swinging distance.
"Ohh, shush dear. She's fine" replies the woman, a rasp but coquettish voice embellishing her words, to his laughing dismay. Laughing as well, she goes to join him, sitting beside, their hands reaching for their bone helms. It became obvious they were more than merely content with her, despite the post murder aura that still lingers in the corner of the kitchen.
Recovering from the daze session provided, Kaiula turns her stare at them, only to discover a pair of faces she couldn't recognize. The woman face had a mature growth to it, hair shaded in a dark blue. A ponytail adorned the back, laying on the left side of her neck. Her eyes bore the same color as said hair, sporting a gentle look. It would be amazing to think that this woman once used to bring a cold and distance voice a few minutes earlier.
As for the man, considering his hair was groomed to a rasta style, Kaiula easily formatted a thought about how her beloved came to have such foreign hair, for they almost matched. The man sported a small earring on the right as well as a frontal beard, one small and groomed. Just like the woman, his pigment was chocolate, but his hair color was lighter.
"UUhhaaaaa...Who are you people?" Kaiula asks, just coming out of her dizziness.
"Come now, don't you remember us?" replies the woman answers with another question, a grin formatting in her teeth.
"Ohh, you take off bone head!" she shouts in wonder before her own mask appears in her hands "Look! Kaiula as one too!"
"We saw it, don't worry" reassures the man "I'm honestly more surprised your temperament has calmed down so quickly".
"Well, Kaiula know how mask and helm are important. Since parents take it off, Kaiula can try to convince minion not a bad man. Face to face". A big smile etches on her face. The two looks at each other, not sure what to think.
"My dear, we never thought our own son would amount to nothing more than a hooligan," says the mother.
"Bone head mother didn't?! But...but"
"It's a custom common at home" chimes in the father "We just wanted to see how you'd react if figures of supposed authority came in and belittled your beloved with no retinue"
"Admittedly, we heard stories about your kind, monsters, being staunchly defendants of their supposed mates. We thought to each other, why not see that particularity".
"As well as testing that mettle of yours. I guess monsters are less likely to do so, but in human realms, often to gain the step-parents' approval, many will watch their S.O. riddled with nonsense, doing nothing, not even as little as to question said nonsense". The father continues, his voice lingering with a bit of disdain "It would be out of matter for our boy to consort with such a person. We don't consult with 'yes men' nor 'yes women'..."
"...especially those pretending to be with one of our own." ends the mother, an equally sounding voice.
Kaiula, listening to it, had her index fingers poking each other, a questioning look on her face "Well, did Kaiula pass?"
Tori-Er merely gestures to the splintered table with her foot imprint. One she couldn't see since Moni-Ia had taken her for another hug "Ohh you..." She squeezes her face on her chest, embracing her soundly "So unsure of yourself at times. Lighten up, little lady~
Another minute passes before Kaiula is departed from Moni-Ia's enfeebling hugs. A sense of calm resonates within her, blessed with her beloved's parents' kindred amicability. Feeling relaxed, her eyes take her to the outside window, where the stars start taking their place. Her eyes widen, though her urgency is kept plenty in check.
Looking at the two who also began to observe the outside, she asks "Kaiula sorry, but you know where minion is?"
Tori-Er slightly turns around, pointing at the bathroom "Taking a break inside"
"Thank you!" She immediately runs it, anything even slightly in her path turned to rubbish. Of course, is the span of 10 seconds, their stargazing came to be halted by an excited Kaiula jumping between them. Nothing out of the ordinary here...
...until they realize that her hand was clinging to Zae-Er's arm "Hold on, there! The water's still running!" His free hand was desperately pointed toward the flapping door leading to said bathroom. The water can be seen seeping out of the door.
"NO time! Clean later!" she shouts, slipping through the window with him despite his complaints. Moni-Ia and Tori-Er stiff a laugh upon seeing this, the distancing voices in no way helping their calm demeanor.
"But my bone he--
"No time! No time!"
"What do you mean no ti--
"No speaking! No time! Just run!"
Dragged through the branches, Zae-Er could only hope to shield his face against the oncoming twigs. Kaiula's very urgency had no time for her to bother running in the path used by many. She wanted to b-line straight to that place. Dirt and dust splash all over Zae-Er, continuously spitting it out of his mouth, [Good grief! What could be so important for her to--
"We're here!" she shouts, to Zae-Er's wonder. Gently dropped by her, he slowly takes his stance, dusting himself off "Well, that's a relief. Now, could you please tell me what exactly you needed to...to...What..."
His eyes meet a riverbed, crystal clear, yet radiating with a peak of green. "What is this..." his feet, mesmerized by the riverbed, begin walking, slowly toward it, under Kaiula's brighten gaze. An obstructing grin takes hold of her face.
Walking to the body of water, his eyes catch the surrounding, decorated in a luminous green. Fire bugs dancing in the ambient air. Trees taller than the majestic castle on mountains, yet compacted, their hides green like the grass adorning the soil under his feet. The air had the same color gliding, giving off the smell of spring breeze.
Amazing as it all was, this was merely the beginning of his amazement. Reaching the pond, his knees bring his hand to seep into the water. Kaiula slowly walks up behind him, watching his discovery. One coming in the form of seeds waiting to be bloomed atop leaves, floating on the pond. Coincidence or not, they had caught his eye "Seeds?" One of his hand goes for the pack, one seemingly diverted to his direction.
His hand goes to grab it from underneath. The tiny thing complies, shaking very, but very lightly.
The seed blooms in his hands, revealing a beautiful lotus gleaming in the shade of green, a lighter brand. One surrounded by petals painted in purple, resonating with the core. Zae-Er became astonished by the variant of the lotus laying in his palms, having never witnessed one as such. Kaiula, sitting by his side, smiles. A smile uninhibited by her usual grin, devoid of her standard confidence. A smile befitting a fair maiden. A smile she brands as her own eyes stray over to the rest of the incoming seeds, filling the pond...
One by one, they burst open, spreading their grace over the lake, attracting the attention of the fireflies nearby. The shaman's eyes were welcomed to a symphony of radiant colors as the lake flares up like a Christmas ornament multiplied by a ten-fold. The man was very humbled...
...but this spectacle of hers was not done. Oh no, not by a long shot.
Zae-Er turns to Kaiula, who had since long kneeled next to him. Most of his mind was busy admiring the sheer display of embellishment she had put, leaving little for his words to germinate "Did...did you do all of this?"
Her response was instant "Huh-uh! Kaiula worked year to make forest pretty for minion! But..." she throws a wink at him ~Kaiula not done~
"A year? Is that what you've been-- wait, not done?! W you mean by not done?"
~Minion doubt Kaiula, I see~ her wink still present ~No worry, I show you now!~
The moment she uttered these words, vines that swirled around the nearest trees sprang to life, yet again littered with flowers waiting to bloom. These, however, took on another shade, one melding well with the green.
Bursting open like popcorn, their core opens to the beholders present to the scene. The few herbivores drinking away at the water, the flies gathered amidst the surrounding trees, any potential travelers. All stopped to witness the spectacle delivered for their eyes.
Zae-Er spins on himself, trying to get as much visual feast as he could. His legs, feeling weak, crumble under him, a forceful suggestion at sitting down. On his knees.
"Wow...". Amazed by all of the flowers blooming, all the light present, the terrain dedicated to his coming a few years, this was the only word he could utter.
Kaiula basked freely in her absolute success, sighing in relief over the few seconds she had to spare before all of it would have mature, making it a ruined gift for him.
"Good grief, how long did it take you to do all of this!?" he asks, his awe state very strongly reverberating in his voice.
"Ohh...hum...this many!" she gestures a singular finger, shook left to right repeatably.
"One year!? For all of this!? You're kidding!"
"Nope, one year" she re-affirms with a mighty smile.
"Just a year for all of this..." he whispers, nudging his head around "You really are something, do you know that? Even with magic, one could expect at least years to even coordinate such a majestic opening, let alone a reclusive area made to soothe weary spirits..."
Indeed, the moment he had stepped in, all his woes had but dissipated, replaced by a renewed vigor. Whatever slight injuries he had suffered from a repeat of branches in the face, peeled off like an orange. He could even feel his mana charged up, nothing like a mere surplus, but more reminiscent of a spiritual upgrade.
"...but you managed to create this in but a year. And all this time, I thought myself impressed with how quickly you'd learn the ABC's of an arcane user".
"Kaiula best! Never doubt anymore!" she grins with all of her teeth, her fang standing out even more so.
"Quite so" he simply ends a nod from his head. Kaiula's grin gradually turns to a more heartfelt smile, approaching the helm-devoid man. Her arms seeking shelter around his neck faced to a man still awestruck by the sheer miniature terra-formation she had done for so long.
Her grin had all but faded away, returned to her lovestruck visage, one soaking genuinely in his view "But, Kaiula only able to do this because of minion".
"No, I didn't have a hand in this", he replies, hating the idea of taking a singular credit in this orchestra.
Of course, Kaiula insisted "It is. All thanks to minion. Minion made Kaiula what she is. Who she is".
Zae-Er prepared wording a protest at said insistence, only to be met by more weight on her own "All of this. Done by Kaiula. Maybe, but wouldn't have done it without minion's patience. Teaching me to do magic, no matter how much I wasted time. Tested patience of minion, but never gave up. Picked me up at my lowest. Went along with Kaiula's difference. Speaking. Walking. Acting. In everything. Despite all of this, where other girly men or make-belief heroes would walk away, minion stayed with me. Helped me. Nurtured talent Kaiula didn't know have. For whole year. For two years. Even with all trouble Kaiula gave minion. Provocation. Fights. Damaged things. Minion stuck with me all the way through. And for that..."
Still clinging to Zae-Er in her love state, she hoists herself closer, shutting down what little gap between their chests use to be present. Faces mere inches from the other ~...for that...
Her eyes, closing down, she approaches his face, coated in the same blush as the man ~...I love--
"There she is, lads! Still gullible enough to stick around!" a voice resonates from far behind them, at the entrance. The trance between the two ceases to be in that instant.
Kaiula leans to the right while Zae-Er simply turns in an 180 degree, perplexed by whoever spoke, Kaiula a quickly apt to recognize the voice "Ohh, it's talker-man!" She waves in a joyous manner "Hi talker-man!"
A familiar man, albeit coated in armor walks away from the entrance, presenting himself in a majestic way, throwing his head in the heavens "I am Gestalt the Majestic. I have warned thee, wench! But thou have ignored my offer, now thee shall--
"Hehe, talker man still boasting about. Kaiula not surprised" she interrupts, Zae-Er bringing his own brand of confusion "Why is he walking like he needs to go?"
Gestalt immediately cracked his face straight forward, staring at the two with an already surging anger as Kaiula proceeds to present the stranger "Ohh, don't worry about that, minion. Talker man always walking like rigid legs. Says it brings nobility to it"
But, as quickly as his anger rose, it went down, his calm returning "Still so brash about things, aren't you? I'm not surprised--
"Talker man also like copying people words" she interrupts again, tilting him a bit.
Gestalt takes a sovereign stance, observing the two from below, like a noble forced to walk among peasants "So...this is your so-called minion, huh? How quaint he looks". He picks up laughter, right as two others walk out of the woods by his side "This is what you went after instead of a noble hero like me? How shortsighted of you, freak!"
Zae-Er takes a knee to get himself up, simply to have a good look at the man. Golden ornaments, a pure white mantle, a gilded scabbard, the distinct lack of a helmet, a symbol of a hero, those who never considered taking any headwear. He stands in an arrogance, believing to be right to all.
The two standing beside him happen to wear decorative armors not unlike his own, though slightly less than his own. Zae-Er could easily see it all to be nothing more than a man of nobility and royal guards unfamiliar with true hostiles of this land, much like the ones he used to escort in his first year.
Who in their right minds would risk carrying suits of armor that would handsomely pay for one's house of desire? Bandits and looters are not uncommon around here. Armors like those are also bulky, ill-suited for forests and jungles like this. As well as being the equivalent of a pink elephant in the room. The only people not seeing them walking around would be those not willing to.
As such, Zae-Er couldn't really faint being insulted by someone like them. In fact, if anything, he was trying to avoid laughing. Luckily for him, they couldn't see it under his neutral expression. "Based on what I'm hearing, I take it you have a history with her".
"Well, any woman about to be mine has, of course, history with me" replies Gestalt "A shame you were not informed, but think of it as a service to you. Now step aside, I need to start disciplining her". Gestalt pulls out his weapon, shining in the darkness. By then, the two others also took out their own swords, gleaming in a menacing way against Kaiula in particular...
...who seemed to be somewhere else. Sitting by the river, to be precise, admiring one of the hundreds of lotus flowers. Gestalt couldn't believe it. even after that last threat he had given to her, she didn't cower. She didn't fear. Not even a simple shake out of anxiety. Gestalt, feeling grossly ignored like last time, slowly began building his anger.
Meanwhile, Zae-Er was watching the trio drawing their weapons as well as a particular consumable. Something he didn't really have time to observe seeing as they quickly hid it. "Obviously, you're not capturing her interest. Which means she's likely not about to oblige to whatever you had in store", throws the boneless man, his arms crossed with an eyebrow risen at the trio.
"The peasant is dictating me whether a woman is interested or not. Really? Really?" jests Gestalt, starting a laughter "How would you know anything, you look like someone who's wearing fecal matter all over you, what with that brown rag you have on your dirt poor self"
"He looks like he bathes in the thing as well, look at his skin" mocks one of the guards, Zae-Er oddly astounded by how quickly they'd resort to petty insults.
The other guard, while laughing as well, noted how foreign his garb was. Thinking about it for a second, his eyes widen in fear. Something struck him badly. Under the guise of Gestalt throwing more mockeries, he makes his way to the other.
Dragging him next to his mouth, he whispers something to the other. Instantly, his face turns pale, a trembling finger subtly pointed at Zae-Er, in a terrifying way of questioning, to which the other nods once. Both of them starts shaking, albeit not in a way Gestalt would know.
Speaking of which...
"I don't know why would you even bother with this one. Did you not hear? This one is...different" lets out Gestalt, to the dismay of his guards that backed away subtly.
"So you didn't? Ho, ho, ho, peasants are even less informed of their surrounding and those they encounter than I've initially thought".
Zae-Er raises an eyebrow "I suppose you're speaking about Kaiula, right? Well come on, do tell." The lady raises her head up in his direction at the mention of her name, mask soon back on, but her eyes conveying someone awaiting a demand.
The majestic man spurns a twitch on his right eye, more than offended by the tone the backwater commoner was speaking to him, reeking of sarcasm. He was sure to put him back to his rightful place.
"So you didn't...Such a shame. I take it you're oblivious to the ugly makeshift thing she calls a mask she wears all the time".
Zae-Er takes a look back at her, spotting her emerald lined mask, halfway diving in the water "Ok, what of it?"
"Well, in case you're unaware, my informants tell me her kind is of Goblins, therefore, you may not like what you see underneath. Then again, maybe you commoners like it better that way, not that I would be surprised, ke ke ke" he stiffens a laughter, witness to Zae-Er's insistent look back at her mask knitted on her face.
His mind spring back to her peerless beauty, accommodated by her sworn green tide of hair, the kind to make those he supposedly meet turn green out of jealousy [I guess he never saw her without it. Baseless assumptions]
Nothing the face of confusion of the boneless man, Gestalt carries on "I can see you're in quite the shock, commoner..."
[Yea, sure, let's go with that] thinks Zae-Er, waiting for more jokes.
"...but I'm merely starting. Secondly, I'm sure you didn't hear the rather repugnant way she tallies her words. But really, you should hear the way in so she grossly speaks. Such decadence!"
Once again, the boneless man's mind surges to her different way of conveying her thoughts and feelings. Nothing he ever struggled with. Or those around her. Or his own parents. Or even the Hunter Guilds representative with which they deal. Seems the man had only one brand of manner people conduct dialogue. Unsurprising.
Gestalt felt like he was in a series of strikes, stirring the heart and mind of the commoner with cold trues about the woman he so thought he knew. His next point had to set his simpleton's mind in disarray "Thirdly--
"Hold on a moment" Zae-Er delays, still looming over his shoulder, watching Kaiula now bathing in the water.
"You dare interrupt!? Even though I'm nice enough to open your mind on that imposter?" Gestalt had his sword out in the open, planting it in a menacing way.
"Apologies for that. Really. But I'm a bit perplexed by something".
"Really now? Confused by simple facts?" jests the majestic, taking a more noble stance "I'll indulge whatever is distracting you. Ask away". A grin invades his face, filled with overwhelming confidence.
"WIth all of this you supposedly say about this woman you want so badly, why would you want her that badly?" Zae-Er raises his hands in a questioning fashion "Really, anyone speaking this badly and with so much venom about another individual would have no reason to seek out said individual and yet, from what I can gather, you've been at this for quite a while."
"It's simple, really..." His expression shifts. He seems happier "DO you know what rules layer this world? This continent? This place as well? Monsters crave energy. Where do get the most of the kind they want so much?" His voice gets haunting "Men".
"Men?" His voice sound unconvicing.
"Yes, men. Us males that govern this world. This thing called spirit energy that they seek so much, we have the best variant of it. And I'm sure even someone as backward as you at least knows how exactly is it that they tend to get it"
Zae-Er gives him a hesitant stare of confirmation. He didn't like the way Gestalt turned his speech nor the subject that was coming at hand.
"So, what would they get from absorbing such amount of spirit energy? Simple, a ravenous beauty" Gestalt puts his hands together, arranging his sight to have Kaiula, currently still bathing amidst her bloomed lotus, between them "And if you do look at this one, she's already a thing of desire in her body. Any man would kill just to spend a night with her!"
As he speaks, his visage gets more and more twisted by his leaking desire "Even since I've had a glimpse of that feminine shape, even with muscles in the way, I knew I HAD TO GET HER!"
Zae-Er jolts back, taken a bit by his sudden vocal aggression. Unfortunately, things were going south rapidly as he continued to listen, a tingling feeling rising in his gut.
"Never in my life have I seen someone quite as 'unique' as her. But alas, she's imperfect, ill-suited for anyone, let alone someone like me, a flawless man. worries though..."
Taking a step forward, he pulls out an object, shaped like a mushroom "Such a desirable wench, impeded by her imperfection. I will use the tool these wenches, these monsters have provided to stewards like me. Because it's the new rules, rules to this world"
He takes another step forward, unfazed by Zae-Er's expression morphing to a frown "With this, I will bend her body to my will. While she may protest at first, that mushroom will quiet her with overwhelming pleasure from me, as her depleted will binds her to a submissive demeanor!"
Another step, a face shaped from frown to scorn, arms de-crossed from the brown garb, hands clenching to a pair of fists. his guards could heed the boneless man's expression becoming more resentful toward their group. They tried to reason their leader "S-sir..."
"And then, with my exalted spirit energy, I will dictate the appearance she will enrobe from now on, by my might and will alone!"
He takes another step, greeted by a scorn mutated to a resentment, oblivious to the pleads of his guards "Please sir..."
"And after...after I'm done spilling my desire inside this woman to shape her rightful appearance, I will shape her ways of thinking, starting with her speech impediment!"
"Every word this woman will say will be worthy of an up and coming hero like me. Nothing like the sorry pile of excuse vegetating over to that pond!"
"By then, I will have a proper, submissive, obedient and willing woman at my feet because, nobody, especially not a damn wench ever and I mean EVER refuses anything I, Gestalt the Majestic demand, no matter what I ask! No female has ever dared to do this before, nor did they wish to! In fact, I would say they'd feel honored to serve me!"
"And, in no way in hell will I let some backwater...!
...Simpleton! A simpleton like you! Getting in my! God! Damned! Way!!! So, either you move away and never get in my sights ever again, or...or...!"
Gestalt, in his delirious anger, proceeds to swing his weapon, now coated in golden sparks around, bleeding out those sparks everywhere. They burn in a mighty gilded fashion, tainting the otherwise flawless land Kaiula had spent a year tailoring.
HIs weapon now radiating in its true might, he points it at Zae-Er, who up to this point had kept the same pose, his head swaying left and right.
"Now, you filthy commoner, what. Will. It. Be?" he ends on a gloomy tone, his eyes empty of light, derived by his anger.
"SIR!!!" his guards scream in unison, closing in on their leader
"What!!" he turns, pulsating with anger, his weapon branded against them. They stop, a bleak expression of unbridled fear invading their faces. As quickly as they tried to calm him down in his fury, they back away, like an animal fearing its master laying a hand on them.
He stares at them, still dominated by his fury "Prepare the items. Her training starts..." slowly turning his visage to his intended target, a ram skull obscures his view point blank.The eye sockets, while empty, more than emphasizing the haunted glare it gives Gestalt, dropping his unbound fury to but a whimper "...now?"
He quickly turns his head back to his guards, realizing he didn't scare them that much. Not by a long shot. Succumbing to his primal fight or flight instincts, his golden sword bears down on the skull man, its gilded edge brimming in power...
...halted halfway down by a clutch of a hand's unnatural touch. "What the hell is that?!" Gestalt mumbles, his voice contaminated by fear. Fight obviously was not going to be his salvation. Struggling with the might of a Hero, Gestalt tries pulling himself free, taking a combat stance supposed to enhance his focusing ability.
A golden aura lights up, originating from his heart, engulfing his entire being. The shining mana starts lighting up, flaring in a mighty power, threatening to consume the land itself. With this, impossible to lose to the thing before him. His very wishes would come true, as it always did. This very power...
...is tainted! "What is?! My aura! Stop it! Stop it right now!" His voice is but at the edge of screaming in helplessness as his empowering aura is soon turning a sickly green. Stripped from his very being like a leech siphoning blood from its host, the green tide that used to be his divine mana is soon a thing of the past, completely devoured by the skull bearer. Out of options, Gestalt does the one thing his mind can come up with...
...pull! He pulls on his arm out, trying as he can to free himself of the thing's grasp. Pull and pulls he does, too panicked to realize this would be but impossible. Such to the point where he was unable to forsee the punch that thing had thrown at him, hitting his peerless visage in the raw center. It slams him all the way to a tree, snapping his guards out of their initial terror.
Alas, this fright came back tenfold as Zae-Er, now veiled by his ram skull proceeded to speak "Blinded by decadence, this one knew not what his own had tried to warn him. Too late came their words, hopeless to their situation". They knew what he referred to. But Gestalt, still ignorant of his words "Warning? What warning did he mean?" He looks at his guards, too petrified to try anything. "Men?"
"Sir...that's the thing who got rid of the scores of Heroes that came around recently", says the first one, long since devoid of his own sword, too shaken to hold it.
"What?!" he shouts in disarray.
"Ghastly voice, a fallen beast's skull, the brown garb..." the second one gulps "...a sickly green tide...there can be no mistake. It's him...sir"
Gestalt started sweating profusely. His mind reminding him of the scores of platoons, elites and most important, Heroes that came in the foreign in search of the one who dared humiliate one of their own and never came back. Presumably, killed by the same man.
Gestalt mumbles, seeing neither him nor his men have any mettle to carry on a fight they were fated to lose.
His feet turn away, sight set on the entrance. his guards, a few steps ahead. They had forsaken his brashness.
No. no. no!!
But too late did they come to regret his boldness. Their feet, welded to the soil, unable to move a muscle, despite their instincts compelling them to run. They linger, frozen like ice statues.
"What is this?" Gestalt whispers utter despair. His answer comes in the form of a moth flying directly on his nose. It's wings depicting a riven skull. Fear had enhanced their hearing, for a low buzzing echoed in their ears, as well as a sensation in their legs "Bugs?"
The collective movement of the moths tosses them around, facing the thing they so sought to flee from. A creature accompanied by another. Kaiula was of long standing by his side, their bags littered at her feet. Her attention has brought her here after seeing her 'minion' put on his ram skull. An omen to a potential fight, Or a massacre, in a sense.
Right now, she was intrigued by the items stored in their bags, resumed to a singular thing in quantities "Minion, what is this?" Holding one of those mushrooms at his view, her eyes convey curiosity. One he is reluctant to answer, knowing all too well its use "It's a raging mushroom"
"Raging mushroom?" Her eyes brighten with curiosity.
Zae-Er sight with his ghastly voice, sending chills to the trio bound by his swarm of moths. He takes her hand to have her sit down, grabbing one of them, and releasing it in midair, it starts floating, carried around by magic "It's a product out of this realm that some may use for various purposes. Unfortunately, the primary use of this particular mushroom is to 'meet' someone".
"Ohh, meet someone? Like dating thing people do?"
"Yes and no. In a sense, it is used for that, but via skipping certain steps"
"What do minion mean by that?" she questions, not sure where he was going with his words.
"Well..." He scratches his bone helm, used to it like a phantom limb "Imagine our first time we met".
"Ohh, can Kaiula imagine what food was in mind back then? Kaiula wanted to eat special mixture of berries and--
"Hold on. Hold on" he takes her hands in his own "What would you do if in that first meeting I was to...take you?"
Kaiula thinks about it, not sure what he could mean by that. Until it hits her. Her body recoils at that prospect, her instincts prompt her to pull out her obsidian dagger. Zae-Er puts a hand on her own, calling her back to calm, as he has done more than a dozen times.
"It's pretty natural to feel like I'd betray you in that sense. Unfortunately, chances are, the mushroom would intervene in my reprehensive endeavor".
"How minion thinks that?" she asks, slightly shaking at this the fact they even speak of this.
"Well, this is what the mushroom does, my dear. It robs a man of any restrains, forcing him to act upon his desire like a raging beast. But his strength is not augmented or altered in any way. No, it enfeebles the woman he happens to have in his view, like a plague robbing one of life. Not only that, but I'd rob you of any will, bound to one seeking servitude".
"What?! Minion wouldn't do that, would he? Kaiula thought minion liked Kaiula as she is!" she says, recoiling her hands on her shoulders.
Zae-Er slowly puts his hands on her own once more "No. Not me...they would"
"Ohh..." she takes a look at them, relieved by his contact "WHat minion do with them, then?"
That was a much easier question he could answer. Grabbing the bags full of mushrooms, he walks over the trio petrified by his swarm up to their necks, binding them in place. Kaiula strolled behind him, curious as to what thought he had in mind. His bone hands grab hold of Gestalt the Majestic at the edge of his shivering jaw.
"Wwhat are you d-doing?" he whimpers.
A void-filled stare returns to his tilting eyes "Granting your wish as well as theirs".
"Our wish?" His question comes with an answer in the form of his jaw forced open, though with little force as the fear-riddled man dares not contests his action. WHat he feels happening is something tasting spicy. Very spicy.
"Minion a wish genie?" asks Kaiula, a bit perplexed on what he means by that. Truth be told, she's rather curious about whether he could make her wishes come true.
"Today, I am" he responds in his mundane voice laced with a jolly voice. His hand moves Gestalt's jaw up and down, simulating chewing before putting his leaning his head back a bit to force the swallowing simulation.
"Ohh, so minion grant wish of bad men here? Why?"
"Simple..." he goes to one of his guards, repeating the pattern "See, I just figured out they're not so bad. They just want company. Someone to call their own. A series of failures has led them to desperate times and forcing their will upon someone else. So I'm giving them what they want"
"Ohh, but did minion not say mushroom make lady submit?"
Zae-Er giggles innocently enough, though it comes off as ghostly wails to the petrified trio, right as he wonders to the third man "Only in certain circumstances. See, this mushroom I spoke about only works if the female is willing to be taken or single. Anything else would be just 'slightly' offended at a man even trying for a tactic like this. But, not one, not two but three of them have come up with bags filled with these just to get you in their clutches. So, just watch a bit and you'll see".
"Ohh, ok!" she slumbers down on her chest and starts staring at them just as Zae-Er steps back. The mushrooms start heating them from within robbing them of any reason. Soon they are nothing more than beasts driven by instincts to seek out a mate.
Too busy to brace themselves for a blast of emerald air pushing them away like a pair of feathers, blasted against the stump of nearby trees. Nothing to drain their overwhelming states taking over, prompting them to flee the entrance out, fading away from the line of sight.
10 seconds pass.
"Minion, where they go?"
Zae-Er turns to her a moment and kneels down. With his hand, he gestures her to come closer, which she does in regard in her eyes "Minion tell me?"
Taking his doll to the ground, his eye sockets gleaming in green. This gleam resonates with the idle puppet, who in turns does the same. It's hollow eye spots projects a mirror. One who needs only to be tethered to anyone tainted by his previous aroma blast. Looking at her sitting down on the other side of his puppet, he then opens his palm, resulting in the first person point of view of one of the guards, Bronco the Bruiser.
"Ohh, minion show me instead! Kaiula prefer watching!" Knowing no one else could be present at this point, removed her mask, to put on her left hip, besides her own tiny doll. Her expression, one of fascination.
The two could see Bronco in his pure lunacy running around the jungle at his top speed, having stripped himself of most of his armor. Confused and bewildered he curses his outcome, feeling further despair as an invisible hand seemed to 'guide' him.
"Minion, what you doing?" she asks, noting that Zae-Er had begun manipulating the doll, having a direct hand on the man they watched.
"Well, this one seems to enjoy a fight. What if he was to come in contact with someone sharing this desire to brawl?"
Right as he says this, his human puppet, Bronco ran all the way to the nearest mountain around. Unfortunately for him, the rumbling soil, as well as occasional jets of molten lava, had welcomed him to a volcano instead. A testament to how far he had run was that his feet had worn out his shoes of metal and gold. Delirious in the extreme, he hide somewhere behind a rock to avoid being spotted.
A question in a rare time of lucidity shines in his head "Where am I? W-what is this place?" His eyes turn green as he feels them becoming someone else's.
...why don't you look over here?
His head turns on its own, spotting a woman. Her fist had just shattered an enormous boulder. "What is this?" comes to his mind, wanting nothing more than to flee.
...Your wish has come true...
Freed from the grasp of the doll, Bronco felt he could run. But his body had different ideas, walking toward the woman known as a brachy. His breath accelerates as well as his struggle to flee. His nerve impulses, ignored all the more as his body began a sprint toward the woman. A surprise tackle had squeezed out a yelp from her, who turned around to see who had dared to hold her on the ground.
"A would-be usurper, huh!? You're on buddy!!" Her strength momentarily sapped from shock had quickly returned, pushing the man away via a punch to the chest. He tumbles back, unable to seek shelter for his instincts are him trying again. He became a prisoner of his desire for a fight. One he was about to lose...
Kaiula look in the mirror, giggling as she did "Hehe, did minion have to bring shiny man to punching lady?"
"I didn't bring him here" protest-mocks Zae-Er, who fully indulged in the play they were watching "His instincts brought him here". He makes a shrugging gesture as well as smile through his skull in a cheeky fashion.
Returning to his doll and the ethereal mirror, Zae-Er then projects the bind to Martin the Multitasker, Once known for the man with the hundred weapons, now a mindless thrall slave to his body's will. Kaiula observes the man running against his will, actively searching for a mate to satiate his beastly desire.
"Ohh, minion what wish he has?"
"According to his diary found in his bag, it seems we have a ladies' man".
"Man of ladies?" This expression, unknown to her, confuses her.
"It means he likes many women at the same time and will actively seek out a relationship with many in the same occurrence".
"Ohh" she puts her finger on her chin "What will minion do to him?"
"What I promised..." he answers, turning the doll to a steep left, shifting the puppet man's pace in the same direction. He continues to sprint, screaming unintelligible words, too focused on trying to detect a female's scent. Which manages to make its way up to his heighten the sense of smell. Actually, he detects multiple scents.
At this point, Zae-Er lets go of the doll, freeing the man of his 'guide'. Alas, all the more useless as the raging mushrooms take hold of his entire body and mind, forcing him to run, salivating at the prospect of many mates. He finds himself in a cave, filled with snoring raptors ladies. He is literally surrounded and any sudden movement will wake one up, waking the rest.
His mind sends escape impulses to the exit, hoping to make his way out. Sadly, Martin was in no position to negotiate with the mushrooms that overwhelmed his fight or flight with the innate need to mate. His body flings to the alpha raptor, sleeping on the highest perch.
The leader of the pack, one with an unusual purple pigment is awakened to danger, seeing a crazed man salivating on top of her. A grin covers her face "What do we have here?" Making use of her feet, she kicks the man down to her clawed hands, throwing him overboard with a scrap of cloth stuck on her talons. His pants and shirt fail to cling to him as he falls all the way down amidst the sleeping pack.
His violent fall awakens most of the sleepers, immediately locked on the man who just managed to stumble up. ~Ladies, dinner just got served~ bellows the leader, jumping down her perch before the guy. Martin became pale but sadly riddled with his body's ache to 'taste' each and every woman present. Starting with the pack leader who just made herself in his view.
"Bind him. Let me show you all how to make your future breakfast, dinner and..." her tongue licks her lips in a malevolent fashion "...supper submit to you from now on and forever!"
The others got riled up at the prospect of 'feasting', to Martin's dismay. He held his hands up in self-defense, only to feel her tail swipe his feet up, knocking him down on his back. His thoughts of getting up again felt down the drain as she was already straddling his lap, savoring the oncoming feeding. Bound to the mushrooms, he did nothing to prevent two other raptors take his hand away, making him truly defenseless to his fate...
Kaiula watched Martin get his last scrap of underwear get torn apart before the mirror shuts down. Looking at Zae-Er, she pouts a bit "Minion! Kaiula wanted to see what they do to man of ladies!"
"Really? So I suppose you don't want to watch Gestalt get his wish? Ok then, let me return to--
"No, no! Is fine! Go to talker man!" she pleads in an instant".
"You suuuuure...?" insists the bone man "I could always go back..."
Kaiula stares at him, a pout riddled with pleads. She wants to see this. Zae-Er laughs a bit "Alright, alright! No need for puppy eyes, let me..." He clutches his doll, granting the mirror it's final target, Gestalt the Majestic. Or rather, Gestalt the dull, what with his gilded sword turned pale and porous, a far cry from its flawless form.
She could see him running down in the jungle, his clothing scraping more and more with step, assaulted by the branches that surround the place. His body refuses to listen to his mind's impulses to a call to sanity, too driven, like the rest to mate furiously. Like the rest, he had a specification of what he wanted.
"When he tried getting to you all this time, I could see he wanted a tough woman to be reduced to a submissive servant, cold to anyone but him. That is his wish. I will grant it to him" explains Zae-Er to a fascinated Shakalaka staring in the gateway to his fulfilling promise. Eventually, Gestalt, while damning the bone man, makes his way to a very secluded cave, one hidden to many creatures.
"Where did minion bring talker man?"
"A question for your answer", riddles Zae-Er while drawing lines on the ambient air "Tell me, what shape is this?"
Kaiula puts her finger on her chin, her eyes strafing left and right, in a moment of thought. The shape gleams in a dark green, persistent in the air like a chalk on a board. Its shape is a half moon, with round edges. A very common food appears on her mind.
"Ohh, Ohh" she shakes her hand along "Pickle! Pickle! Pickle!"
"Exactly. What would remind you of a pickle?" asked Zae-Er in another question.
"Hum..." she thinks again in the same pose, watching the man trespass further in the cave, marching forward despite a turbulent snoring, one which makes the very mirror shake just as the soil in which Gestalt walks in.
"Kaiula can only think of pickle lady. Violent pickle lady. A Jo?"
"A Jho, yes".
"Yes, Jho!" Her eyes widen in revelation "Ohh, minion crafty. But Jho hard to tame. Almost impossible".
"Exactly what he wanted. My generousity knows no bound" he pretends to boast, crossing his arms in a straight line, nodding in an obnoxious manner.
Kaiula gazes at Zae-Er with a mischevious grin on her face, brought to the mirror by yet another snore. Gestalt's view shortly captures a pickle lady sleeping amidst a small river bed shaped as a ring. Or, a Jho to be technical. His heart starts beating quickly, pumping adrenaline to every inch of his body. The perfect moment for Zae-Er's long reaching 'guide' to fade from his body.
Sadly, his raging desire to mate with the beastly monster takes hold immediately after, the adrenaline used for fight or flight instead reduced to fuel said desire. "Run...what are you doing?! Run...run...RUN!!" he whispers to himself in despair over his automatic body. Of course, it wasn't just going to run.
His body jumps in the water, swinging in frenzy, his thought process decaying with each approaching second the more he gets closer to the female in sight. The water splashes the edge of the surrounded rock slide, wet with his soaked clothes. He walks continuously, waiting to claim his deadly prize. One he seeks not. His feet stagger, in protest of his mind trying to save itself, to no avail. The mushrooms he had prepared had an extra kick to them.
His Hero's resistance had been reduced to cinders, disallowing him his last stand. There was no hesitance as he violently began turning her to her back. The simple contact of his hand has sprung her awake, punching him away. His body collides through stalagmites, breaking each one, ripping a little of his attire with each smash.
He flies, in grave pain all the way to the cave's entrance. Lucidity had momentarily returned to his head, accompanied by his crippling fear. Gestalt pushes himself up, only to fall down. His leg suffered the worst, being the front to the spiked rocks. "Come on...come on...come on! Get out of there, away from this crazy bi--
A jet of rock explodes next to his face "Argh!" His arms forget to crawl out and move to his face, trying to protect him. Heavy breathing follows the aftermath of the rumble, as the smoke clears out. Gestalt waits for his vision to clear out.
Hope returns to his eyes, thinking she may have thrown a sizable rock to force him out.
"Hahaha! I can crawl. Crawl!" His hands proceed to move one ahead of the other...
...but stops. An undesirable sensation returns to him, binding his hands down. They no longer move. They no longer obey
"What are you doing?! Move! Move now!"
No response. A quake makes itself felt through his chest. He knew exactly what was the rumble. His head turns back. The Jho slowly approaches, a lusty glare in her eyes. More than what he had heard before.
"NO! Why this?! My mana was devoured--
Another sensation came to protest his words. His golden aura, returned to its primal strength, a beacon to focus her insatiable hunger.
"No, no, no! Why now? I thought he had eaten it!! My sword, where's my sword?!"
He turns again, seeing the Jho closer than ever. His precious sword, planted next to the river, where he had initially fallen.
"Shit, shit, shit!"
His eyes widen, turning his face away to try and move. To no avail. His arms shake with anticipation, contradictory to his mind, who blared in panic. What to do, what to do?!
Gestalt feels his legs clutched by a pair of slick palms. No words came from her, instincts surrendering any sense of speech. His chest starts sliding, his face breaking into utter fear. Fear who soon shaped to something different. HIs product, used to try to submit a woman to his hand, done countless times, is now going to inflict the same suffering to his entire sense of individuality.
His body, from now on belonging to her. And her alone. His mind, devoid of a refuge to bid his time, as his Jho captor will 'teach' him the pleasure of submission. And his spirit, shattered to pieces by her constant draining session, forcing him to further depend on her for every aspect of life, until he learns to accept it wholly. Not before...
Kaiula watched Gestalt tasting his own medicine, one who had long waited to swing by. She sighs, a mixture of relief and sorrow. This, this was what he wanted of her. To be nothing more than someone's servant. She reaches out for the mirror, the vision of Gestalt and the hungering Jho gradually disappearing as the mirror starts losing power. Her finger manages to touch the surface, triggering its shattering.
Yet, her fingers feel the touch of Zae-Er's, who had seen her expression. His own feeling compelled him to comfort her. Wording his sentiments would be useless at the moment. A gentle touch was of a must. A smile adorns her face, relieved of his heat. A relief breaking her down to tears.
Her hand falls away from him, moving to her own visage littered by her weeping eyes. Her head falling down, to a hand under her chin. Not hers. Another wipes her tears away, a familiar sensation. A much-needed sensation.
The finger under her chin gently lifts her visage up to a boneless face. Her body, flustered, seeks more warmth. Arms were thrown around his neck. He accepts it, bringing her closer to his towering protection. Even with everything he taught her, for all those years, he still was her sheltering minion. After all those years...
Her weeping decays with time, soon reduced to small sobbings, carried by his arms.
"Kaiula thanks you...for everything" Her voice barely making the decibels to be heard. Her chest pressing against his own. So close to each other, yet he could feel it. Desperately trying to imprint his presence on her. No way around it, she wants a piece.
Anything to remind her, to remind him, to remind anyone she is no longer up to grab. Correction, she was no longer up for grab since those years before.
One of his hand falls away from her back. reaching for a hidden compartment. His other hand, setting them apart. Her eyes, void of tears, though still prone to erupt. They set on his occupied hand, clutching the edge of his fingers. A box lingers on his hand.
"What is this?"
"Open it and see for yourself" he invites, as his empty hand goes to put her fingers on it.
A tingle spurns in her heart. It was the first time she'd see a box like this, and yet, her instincts were already acting up. A composite sitting at the extremes of her heart. Anticipation and nervousness. Over a tiny box. Hesitation blocks her arms, as well as pressing it on. A staggering opening stretched to a minute, to an ever patient man, his own body flustered without notice.
Her fingers lift the top of the decorated box, a blinding light flashing her in the first seconds. It dies soon enough, revealing a bracelet. A bracelet adorned with etched ornaments, bathed in gold. Perfectly lined up to a center gem. An emerald entwined by the rivets of gold, reminiscent of her very hair's shape, to a singular unit.
Her eyes shine at the sight of this bracelet, her heart beating even faster with no feasible reason. Her eyes, tearing up, a hidden discovery.
"Minion, what is this?" she asks of her tender voice, shriveled by an unbound happiness, barely held in check. Of course, it would obvious for her to know what this means. To a woman. Even more so to a monster. She wanted him to say it. To hear his explicit demand.
"In my homeland, to gift someone with a bracelet as such is to demand that individual to marriage.Surely you have seen my parents adorned with one on the left wrist. With that said..."
WIth all her unbridled might, brashness and boldness tethered to her psyche, seeing her weeping like a maiden was rare a sight. Keeping up her act had become the last thing on her mind as she stared, teary-eyed at Zae-Er take hold of her left arm, the item in question at the edge of her hand.
"My dear Kaiula. Once a companion. Welcomed to my tutelage. Shaped as a guild partner. Embraced as a lover. I ask you..."
Her entire self could barely hold herself. She wanted to accept right now. To scream 'I do'. But, she waited, at the end of her restraint for him to utter these words. So close...
"...will you become my dear wife, for life?"
"Yes! Yes, I do" Kaiula want to become minion's wife! A thousand time yes!"
The man, supposed to be the composed one, became shaken by how quickly she had accepted. Expectant to this outcome, yet still unable to believe she would actually become his. His face lost composure as much as hers did, a smile laced with two tears down his cheeks. His hand goes on, grabbing her wrist, to slip the bracelet on, feeling the severe attempt from her arm to hold itself from shaking in unbridled delight.
The first thing she does is to admire it. It's green tide. Its outer contour shaped to the likeness of her hair. How long has he slaved over to make this thing? Perhaps as much time as she took to nurture the secluded area at his likeness.
It didn't matter, for all came to fulfill their purpose. Overjoyed at finally having that piece, that one thing crystallizing Zae-Er's heartfelt love for he, Kaiula jumps at his neck, the later, unprepared for a brash movement. The momentum sends the both of them to a plunge in the river behind them, shockwaves repelling the lotus flowers away.
They sink at the bottom of the lake, steadfast before the lack of oxygen. They stare into each other's eyes, leaving no gap between their chests. Water does nothing to cut away the sensation of touch between them.
Eyes mid closed, she leans in for a kiss, one Zae-Er is more than glad to steal from her. Heat rush to their cheeks as their lips slowly touch. A sensation often felt over the years, it now meant something deeper for the couple, who discarded everything simply for a few minutes, Minutes in where they indulge in the other, sweet words and caresses littering their surrounding. Now linked to a deeper channel, something as benign as physical obstacles might as well pack up their bags and forsake these two.
Their kiss unending, their lightness soon begin carrying them to the surface, slowly. They savor each and every second 'tasting' the other, feeling ever warm inside. Their heads, poking up at the very surface, find them breathing deeply for air, far from being a gasp for oxygen, however.
They float amidst the lotus flowers, unwilling to part. Kaiula's head leans on his shoulder, hands pressed on his chest. Zae-Er's arms surrounded her waist, the two away from sight, a dream turned reality.
"What kind of ceremony would you like to have?" he asks, formatting potential sets up for their officialization.
Her head slightly shakes in a benign objection ~Minion no need to make big stage. Kaiula overjoyed with just this.~
He sighs in a false resignation, more than happy to acquiesce to her demand "Of course..."
Joy soon gives place to sleepiness, drawing a yawn from the tangerine woman. She had begun resting. In his arms. He had already made his way out of the lake, still sitting at the edge, for she clung to him. Too sleepy to move a great distance, obviously.
As the forest itself turns to sleep, some animals come near, feeling the need to rest in the dark. A chuckle escapes Zae-Er, as whilst keeping her in his arms, shifts her position to enable a more comfortable slumber. Though, soon enough, he himself feels in the Sandman's hand.