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#76
Old 10-28-2020, 01:10 AM

Once they reached the shore, Arael coughed a little as they stood. His body wanted to shut down, he could feel it. Whether it be from crashing into the water like he had, or from the shock of nearly drowning, he was having a hell of a time keeping consciousness. After a moment of more-or-less regulating his breathing and calming down, he glanced at Silas and lowered his eyes. "I'm still pretty numb from the impact.." He murmured quietly. "The water.." He murmured.

"The water has magic in it.. I think that's the only reason I didn't drown.." Arael said quietly. "I saw it.. The cavern. It's underwater, and I think that's where the magic is coming from, or they're at least connected." He said quietly, before slowly trying to stand and lightly pulled away from Silas so the man wouldn't have to carry his weight. As soon as he separated, he nearly dropped to knees, only catching himself and slowly walked up the shore until he could lay down on the grass and state up at the sky. They sun was just barely started peek out from the horizon.

---

Lea smiled as she and her partner came into the living room with the cots, and saw Mars standing in the doorway. Jason opened up his cot and offered to do the same for Lea, taking note of his tired she looked and didn't want her hurting herself. They were lucky that Lady Nerva could help Lea the way she did..

"It hasn't been that long since I lived here myself, of course I have an idea where old things might be." Lea teased her friend. Jason sat on his cot once the other was set up and chuckled some. "You used to be partners right, before I came along?" He asked curiously. Lea nodded lightly and glanced at him. "Yea, she was looking after me when I was a fresh shinigami, like how I'm looking after you." She teased some. Jason nodded some.

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#77
Old 11-14-2020, 04:01 AM

Silas trudged through even knee-length tides as he made his way inland. He sighed in relief as he heard the first part of Arael's response. He was less excited about the idea of going back underwater to see the cave but anything was a sign of hope at this point. He dragged his feet until he felt the warmth of dry sand beneath his boots, and he concentrated on re-sealing his wings. De-materializing two soggy wings did wonders for his ability to carry his own weight. It occurred to Silas that despite how heavy it felt underwater, he wasn't even wearing his flight cape. Soggy wings were heavy.

The terrain sloped upward into hills as the mouth of the river went inland and as Silas neared the grass where Arael had plopped down he stepped out of the light and into the shade. When he realized this he instinctively leaned backward into the warm light and closed his eyes to cherish the moment of peace.


"You're leaving already?"
"It's getting late."
"The sun's still up."
"Goodnight."


He snapped upright and swallowed hard as panic flooded his memory. He exhaled and realized then that he had brought a sandy hand up to his mouth. He dropped it back by his side. "We have to find cave or we'll lose our wings for treason before we get anywhere," he insisted. Then he spun on his heels and marched back toward the water, panic fueling his newfound energy. He squinted at the water, looking for a clear change in aura.

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Mars teetered on the verge of sleepwalking as she watched the two younger shinigami poke fun at the scavenger hunt. "Alright I'll leave cinnamon on the side in case you make up your mind later," she said as she turned to walk back to the pantry area. She, mostly on auto-pilot, grabbed a few mugs from the cupboard, found and poured some milk, and set them all in the microwave to heat for 2 minutes. She found spoons in the meantime and mixed sugar and chocolate in a separate dish. She liked to have a base for her hot cocoa and then add more sugar or chocolate later. While she waited she grabbed extra goodies from the cupboard: cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla extract, and 3 candy canes. When the microwave beeped she yanked a cookie sheet out from the oven to use as a sheet to transport supplies to the living room. The full mugs wobbled a little as she walked but were otherwise fine.

"I mixed the cocoa but there's extra sugar or chocolate if you want," she announced as she set it down on a low coffee table next to the younger shinigami's cots. She yawned as she stood. "Man I'm gonna be lonely and miss the party if I don't sleep out here, huh?" she joked. A moment later she was in the hallway digging for a blanket and a spare pillow in a closet. Happy to have found both of her favorites, she tossed them onto a couch near her friends. She detoured for a moment to double check that the front door had locked on her way in, and feeling safe afterward she plopped down on the couch. She could tell that there was still daylight peering over the horizon, but she felt no less tired after the evening chaos.

"Lea, how long have you been around these parts now? Has it been years already?" she wondered aloud as she claimed a milk-filled mug and candy cane. She scooped in some cocoa from the shared dish and began fiddling with the extra goodies. "We're all family here, and this place has been my home for who knows how long," she continued to ramble as she stirred a sprinkle of cinnamon and nutmeg into the cocoa with the melting candy cane. "I just can't keep the timeline straight."

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#78
Old 11-21-2020, 03:48 PM

Arael was somewhere between fading, and managing to keep himself barely conscious as Silas spoke. He somewhat noticed as the older guardian began de-materializing his wings and slowly released a shallow breath as he tried to focus his muddled brain and senses on doing the same. Re-sealing wings you couldn't feel wasn't as easy as simply dealing your wings, because well, you couldn't feel them. So your body tried telling you they weren't thrre.

He found himself squeezing his eyes closed as the numbness wore off, and pain flooded his head upper back and shoulder, and hissed under his breath. Arael slowly turned on his side and pushed himself up to an upright position, and peered over his shoulder at the wing that wasn't closed all the way. It was open slight, at an acute angle and mangled as if hitting the water forced it open and the current best against it.

"Silas.." He murmured quietly, glancing at him as the older guardian stood and headed for the water once more. "I can't move my wing.." He murmured, biting back a his as pain pinged through his head from turning his head.

---

Lea and Jason turned their attention to the older Shingami when she joined them, and Jason took note of the softness in his partners smile. Lea carefully picked up the warm mug and closed her eyes as she took in the sweet scent. No one made cocoa like Marsipan. Jason chuckled at her joke, and carefully picked up his own mug, watching as the older went to grab her own blanket and pillow to join them.

Looking up from taking a sip of her cocoa, Lea blinked at the question and shrugged lightly. "I've lost track, but it hasn't been too long.. Maybe a few years?" She murmured, unsure of herself. "That time is coming though.. I can feel it.." She murmured. Her death-date.

Jason glanced at her. "How bad is it? When it comes around.." He asked quietly, not wanting to upset her. Lea shook her head. "It depends on the circumstances, and the events that transpired." She said quietly.

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#79
Old 01-05-2021, 01:49 AM

"A few years?" Mars wondered. "Huh, it really has been..."

As her fellow shinigami talked, she continued to stir her spiced cup of cocoa until the candy cane was thin enough to snap. When it did, she let the top half sink into the water and lifted the mug to her mouth for a minty sip.

"Well...You do know you better than the rest of us," she admitted with a weak laugh. Death date chatter unsettled her. Mars had little knowledge of the experience―she had little knowledge of anything concerning shinigami at large. After all these years she still couldn't get a straight answer from Lady Nerva or anyone close to Her for more information. Her thirst for knowledge fueled her loyalty and desire for kinship. The secrecy she received in return was a source of tension in her relationship with her partner and her roommates, who each seemed to know so much more about the big picture. When her family refused to reciprocate her trust, it sowed dread and doubt in her mind.

"If anyone has a say in that kind of thing, though, it's Lady Nerva. And she looks after us," she insisted aloud, as much to herself as to her guests. She curled up with her warm mug and took another sip. She resisted the weight of sleep that leaned on her head and eyelids. "You have to keep reminding yourself that whatever happens is gonna be okay in the end."

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Silas looked back at his companion at the sound of trouble. He frowned, seeing that the attempt at re-sealing Arael's wings may have worsened the injury. "Hold still," he said as he hurried over to his ally's side and lowered to his knees to get a closer look. "Gah." It occurred to him that he hadn't brought a first aid kit, nor had he trusted his GPS enough to bring it along.

He scanned the surroundings for a sense of direction. The shape of the sandy barrier to the ocean was odd and only beach-like on the side of the river where Silas knelt with his companion. On the other side of the river the terrain was rocky and rose sharply into cliffs of the mountain from which the river unwound, as if something powerful crumbled the stone away...

Silas looked away from the rough terrain and gazed across the stretch of soft sand. It bled into the grass which gave way to a thin forest. They probably weren't far from a human establishment... Silas frowned. While the two of them stood a chance if they walked to a mortal city, it was death or worse if they ran into another angel at this point. And Silas didn't exactly want to fly around unarmed over shinigami territory. Was it better to not seek help and risk Arael's health, or was it better to try anyway and risk their lives in the process? Was it better if Silas hid from sight once they reached the city, or maybe should they break in and steal...? And wasn't this Arael's choice to make?

"We can rest here―and there's fresh water from the mouth of the river, but..." Silas blanked as a sense of doom crept up his spine. "I-I'm not sure..." Was there perhaps something clever they could do with the magic from the artifact of time?

"Don't move," a low voice demanded from behind. Silas blinked in shock as the sand visibly shuddered and a small gale pulsed with the sound of the voice. Was it some kind of sonar magic? He slowly turned to face the source. As he turned, he could make out its shape: a masked figure, wading across the water. The silhouette's rear-sheathed weapon glinted unmistakably of the metal that composed shinigami scythes, but for some reason the blade looked much like a sword and nothing like a scythe... Silas's heart sank as he noticed a second robed figure hop down from the rocks farther back. He couldn't discern its weapon in the shaded light, but as he looked toward a flash of motion atop the cliffs he saw a third masked figure poised with glowing shinigami metal―

"I SAID DON'T MOVE," the voice boomed. "Unless you want to lose those damned wings." Silas froze completely, ever surprised by voice's ability to move between element-bending roar and humanoid speech. As the bearer of the sword stepped out of the river and into the light―and uncomfortably close―Silas could make out the cuts in their armor from prior battle. He was too panicked, and too afraid of the threat, to check whether the other figures were closing in too. He had no idea if there were any more beyond the first three.

"This land is sacred, and it does not welcome the kin of dictators. State your cause."

(Image source: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/914862411593337 )

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#80
Old 01-05-2021, 02:54 AM

Lea lowered her eyes some as Mars spoke and sipped from her cocoa. She knew the other had a point, but like the rest of their kin, it didn't make talking about it any easier. She managed a tiny smirk when Mars mentioned that that she handled it better than the others, and stared down into the dark liquid. "That's becaue I have more people at my side then i did when I was alive. I don't regret taking my own life.." She admitted quietly.

Jason glanced at her, her words feeling familiar but he couldn't place it, or reach it. He then focused more on the cup in his hands.

Lea sighed some and wore a smile as she looked at her partner and friend. "Tomorrow will be better." She said, and she truly believed it.

---

Arael was careful not to move as Silas instructed and allowed him to inspect his wing. He felt the air around them thicken before he glanced at Silas from the corner of his eye, at the sound of the voice behind them.

Shinigami? Here?! Panic began to spread through him as the voice boomed. He hadn't come face to face with a shinigami, nor knew how to respond to the situation. "We.." He began to speak quietly. "There's something we're looking for, within the lake.. We didn't come to fight.." He managed to speak, just loud enough to be heard by the others.

He was scared, but he felt he had to try to reason with them before falling on rash ideas and risking himself and Silas getting more hurt than they already were.

Last edited by Nova_Alchemist; 01-05-2021 at 03:05 AM..

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#81
Old 01-06-2021, 06:42 AM

Mars grinned and closed her eyes. "Isn't that the truth...I don't know what I'd do without this family."

...

She jolted and nearly spilled her beverage, realizing that she had started to nod off. "Dangit!" She finished the cocoa in her hand and yawned when she set the empty mug down. "I wanted to wait until everyone got home but I'm fading so fast, and it's barely even sundown." She whined childishly, failing to realize the toll of healing magic on her energy. "If today weren't so darn dangerous it wouldn't be such a big deal. Are either of you this tired?" she asked, rubbing her eyes as she found herself torn between slumber and worry.

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Silas slowly leaned back from his kneel to sit down just slightly farther away from the masked silhouette who, unbothered by their half-drenched clothes, loomed over the two angels. As Silas moved, the stoic stranger's glare followed. The hostile presence paralyzed him, but at last he managed to take a breath. "We're looking for a crystal that can traverse time."

"Why?"

"I lost the two people that meant the most to me. One was a mortal I cared for, and after I left, he..." Silas swallowed hard. "After I left, he took his life. The other was my best friend, and I lost him today." He stopped and closed his eyes. "If there's anything that I could do to bring them back―"

"A lie," the being accused. Silas glared and gritted his teeth, furious. A soft splash distracted him a moment later. As he looked, another robed person waded through the water. Their petite figure showed almost no marks of battle. Stray locks of long white hair spilled from between their mask and loosely-fastened hood. They bore a small compound bow on their back with a quiver of arrows that twinkled with shinigami metal. Silas recognized the glimmer from the being that was previously atop the cliff, yet they had somehow maneuvered to the shore as if it were only a short hop away.

"No," a feminine voice cooed as she nimbly approached. The stoic stranger leaned slightly in her direction as if to insist their attention despite their fixation on the enemy angels. "That's him, the veteran guardian that knew Jason by name," her mesmerizing voice continued. "He called his companion Arael, but I don't recognize him. They crash landed together a few minutes ago but they don't have flight gear. If they were disingenuous then the depths would have drowned them, I think. The sea seems to believe they're rogue."

The stoic stranger waited. If the two of them looked less like death itself it would have been a peaceful silence between the murmur of the shore and river, but to Silas it was an eternity of fearful anticipation. "Is this true?" the tall warrior asked at last.

"If we turn back now we would be as good as dead," Silas confessed. "We might be anyway if we can't find the crystal or if law enforcement finds us first. And with this wing injury I don't know if we'll be able to avoid either of those problems." The truth of their vulnerability sent a chill down his spine. He began to shiver in his soaked clothes.

"Though the sea may trust you, there are other barriers that protect this hallowed ground," the warrior explained. "We will not weaken them, but we can give you the strength to pass through. Passage will require energy for a blood promise and sunlight, however, neither of which are plentiful here now. In honor of the invitation of the sea, you..." the voice paused. Silas blinked. For a moment, their silence seemed as if in conflict with their own mind. "You may seek shelter with us tonight."

The masked girl abruptly turned toward the warrior, visibly taken aback. The warrior turned to her as much. "Gwen, would you please prepare our return?"

"Y-yes," she stammered. She looked across the water and beckoned seemingly to no one, though Silas remembered there was at least one other masked figure with them. Then, she nimbly moved past the two of them and took off into the grassy forest.

The warrior turned to Arael. "Arael, are you able to walk? If not, I can carry you."

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#82
Old 01-06-2021, 05:05 PM

Jason had begun dozing as the brief silence settled between them. He jolted some when Mars shouted and rubbed the back of his neck. "I'm pretty beat.. Maybe we should give up and turn in?" He asked, glancing between the two.

Lea nodded some and set down her cup, then carefully took Jason's cup ad set it on the table before he had a chance to spill it. She glanced at Jason as he shifted on his 'bed' so he could lay down. She then stood and picked up their mugs and headed to the kitchen to waah them.

---

Arael tensed as a third robed figure approached him, after the second figure joined the warrior. They had long black hair flow around their mask, remaining silent as the two other figures conversed. Unlike the other two, a weapon couldn't be immidiately seen.

The figure knelt down in front of the younger angel, only glancing at her warrior companion when he voiced that they could stay with them for the night. She glanced at her sister and watched her go on ahead of them. She sighed softly and offered the younger angel her hand after the warrior spoke.

"You're scaring him." She murmured quietly, returning her gaze to the angel. "He's obviously younger than the other.. Almost too young to leave the city." She murmured. "Come." She said softly in a similar mesmerizing voice as her sister.

Arael found himself being drawn to her, despite his fear and slowly reached for her hand. The figure grasped his hand and tugged him to his feet, catching him as he staggered forward. "Go ahead and carry him, he can barely stand on his own.

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#83
Old 01-07-2021, 03:56 AM

"Maybe we should," Mars admitted. "It's been a long day and I'm sure ready for a looooong nap. Oh, thanks," she added as Lea began to clean up. She watched until the young shinigami disappeared down the hall and then she looked toward Jason. It was rare to catch either of the two without the other, and a moment alone seemed like a good opportunity to ask him about the angel encounter a few days earlier.

Jason, she thought, but she couldn't bring herself to bother him as he prepared to sleep. Though Mars was curious and concerned, she had already decided with Lea not to ask him about that angel who called his name. And yet...

When she realized she had been staring, she shook her head and let out a short huff in frustration with herself. "Sleep well," she wished.

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Silas tensed as the shinigami called Gwen stepped near him on her way out. He stood slowly when the third stranger approached and he frowned when she seemed to hypnotize Arael into her arms.

"What's the matter?" the warrior asked.

"It's hard to trust you," he explained. "We should be enemies, and I don't even know who you are."

The stranger strode closer and Silas fought hard against the urge to back away. The warrior lifted a palm to their face, removed their headgear, and revealed the pensive visage behind the acoustic torment. Even without her hood she was taller than Silas. "I am Seamus," she said. "This bay has drowned my kind as well as yours, and to deny faith in you would deny faith in my own."

"Okay, I understand you want me to think you trust us," he snapped. "But how do I know this isn't some kind of trick?"

"It seems you don't," she countered. "Do you want to return home with your kind or with us?"

"I want to protect Arael and bring back those I failed to keep safe," he insisted.

"Then it sounds like you have no choice, and in that case it doesn't matter if you know." Seamus turned to take Arael from her companion and onto her back. "I'm going to lift you up now if that's alright," she said to the smaller angel. She shifted somewhat to re-balance the weight of two beings over one center of gravity.

"Gwen will scout the path ahead and conceal our tracks," she added. "I doubt anyone will sight us, though if things are dire enough that you defected then trouble might try."

"Ah..." Silas uttered sheepishly. "Maybe we could talk more about that on the way? There are still some things I don't understand―about the crystal, and about today. I think Arael knows the most between the two of us."

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#84
Old 01-07-2021, 01:56 PM

Jason chuckled at Mar's admittance to being more than ready for a nap. He slowly allowed his eyes to close as he relaxed and the feeling of safety sank in, as sleep took him.

Lea washed the mugs and whatever dishes happened to be in the sink, before quietly going back into the living room. She glanced at her partner and softened her expression some when she noticed that he was already out like a light. Damned angels.. If she lost him because of them, she promised herself she'd make then regret it.

Lea sighed softly and sat on her cot before laying down, clearly tired but also unable to fall asleep right away. "Night, Mars." She murmured softly.

---

The figure waited until the smaller angel was on Seamus's back before leaving the group to follow after Gwen. Rei clearly wasn't feeling up to sharing her name with the angels.

Arael nodded some when the woman asked if she could lift him, and lightly held onto her shoulders as she stood. Despite being soaked from the bay, he wasn't cold.

Rei paused briefly and glanced back at the group when Silas spoke, then continued her stride, easily catching up to her sister. "I'll run ahead and let Mars know about the guests. Okay?" She spoke quietly, before going on a head to the tree house.

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#85
Old 01-08-2021, 05:23 AM

A grin tugged at the corner of Mars's mouth when Lea returned to the living room and settled in for sleep. She responded with a playful wave. "Night-night."

She then clasped her hands together under her chin and rested her elbows on her knees. After some time of nodding off while sitting upright and silently cursing the angelic nightmares that crept into her mind between waking moments, she gave up. She stood and walked toward the window on the west side of the treehouse. From the side, she parted the curtain enough to peer outside at the dying light. The sun was gone but she could make out the skyline of trees against the faint glow.

Then she noticed the single approaching shinigami. Her heart sank in fear and she instinctively made her way outside, turning back only to double check that the door was locked on her way out.

"Where's Seamus?" she whispered once the figure was in earshot. "And Gwen? I've been so worried. What took you all so long?"

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"See you soon," Seamus said as Rei hurried off in the same direction as Gwen. She scanned the beach one final time before starting in the direction of the forest with the angel on her back. To Silas, her movements were slow and deliberate. He followed her. She looked in his direction once and he looked down, still scattered from earlier.

"There's so much I want to ask," he said. "I don't know where to start..." The sound of crickets and crushed leaves filled the silence for some time. "How do you know about the crystal back there? And why are there barriers around it?"

"There is a sealed energy source in this area," Seamus began. "I have never heard of a time-wandering crystal, but it could easily be another form of the source's wonder. The barriers suppress its aura, and many are ancient."

"Why does it need to be suppressed?" Silas asked.

"I don't know," Seamus continued. "The barriers will drain anything in their vicinity, though, energy and being alike. Maybe they once harnessed its energy, or maybe they deter greed." There was a short pause. "Where did you hear about a crystal?" she asked.

"It was in a book―but it was also a legend, too, right Arael?"

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#86
Old 01-09-2021, 01:27 AM

Lea only managed to doze off for a few minutes before dreaming of the fight with the angels and waking. She heard the door and blinked the sleep out of her eyes, almost relieved that Jason was still asleep.

--

Rei paused when she noticed Mars come outside and waved her hand some. "Rest easy, they're behind me. Our assignment took longer and we ran into some feathered rouges out by the mystic lake." She said quietly. "Seamus has insisted they stay with us or be found and possibly be put to death for their treason." She said quietly, giving her roommate a chance to really let her word sink in.

"One is an elder, the other merely a child." She spoke quietly. "Are the young ones here?" She asked curiously.

~°~°~°~°~°~°~°~°~°~°~

Arael was listening as they spoke, only he was half dozing and half fading from consciousness as he rested on Seamus's back. "Mn?" He hummed quietly, blinking as Silas mentioned the book. "Oh, yeah." Arael murmured. "My grandmother gave me a book about the crystal." He said, just loud enough for them to hear his voice.

"The legend of the time crystal. It's supposedly gives the one holding the power to travel back in time, to a specific time period, but only briefly." He said quietly, feelingly oddly safe as the Shinigami carried him.

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#87
Old 01-09-2021, 04:46 AM

Mars exhaled in relief when she saw Rei wave dismissively. She opened her mouth to say something about how she was glad that the fighting was done for the day, but her comfort quickly twisted into anger as Rei unveiled more of the situation. "I'm not letting any angels near this house," she insisted. "And they're clueless if they think dealing with me is better than dealing with a death penalty." The words escaped her mouth before she could think. It occurred to her that the angels from earlier that day might have instigated combat in search of their rogue comrades. The idea that those righteous birds would get shinigami involved in their plight brought her blood to a simmer. Even worse, she realized that she wouldn't be able to stop her partner from bringing death into their own house if it had anything to do with Nerva. Mars would ask questions and push back against some of her responsibilities from time to time, but she knew that Seamus wouldn't be caught dead on the other side of a dispute with the goddess.

"Tch," she snapped as she heard of the young angel. "They've always blamed us for their own war. I'm not letting them use children or criminals who want asylum to bait us into mercy." She took a breath and pulled back the wrath in her words, realizing that there was no reason to take her anger out on Rei. "Sorry... Yes, they're here," she continued as neutrally as she could manage. "But not for long. I can't stop Seamus from hanging herself with whatever this is about but I'm not getting the rest of my family get killed for it."

She spun on her heels and marched up the steps. When she opened the door she noticed Lea awake. "Lea, we have to leave," she said as she left the door wide open and moved over to grab her scythe from its resting hook on the wall. "Can you wake Jason up? You two need to go back to the safe house. I'll walk you there since it's so late."

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Seamus turned an ear toward Arael. "I'm surprised that an angel would know this before us. What seals the source uses shinigami magic and the last time I sensed an angel near it was was hundreds of years ago."

"Hmm," Silas pondered as he walked. "If no angel came this way recently..." Horror struck him. "Maybe we have the wrong bay? N-no, that doesn't seem right. The illustration was pretty exact, even though no one visits here."

"You underestimate the sea's blessing," Seamus said. "Outside of the three of us, I don't invite my kin to this place because of its tendency to claim visitors one way or another. I've lost friends here, and have never seen an angel survive a swim. Your triumph is no accident."

"Oh, well, I'm glad we weren't drowned as soon as we landed," Silas stammered aloud. It was humbling to realize he had just narrowly escaped death. He glanced back at the shore that seemed considerably far away. "Wait―how can you watch over that place if it drowns everything?"

"I'm not privy to its intentions. I used to wonder if its preference hinged on our acceptance of our own afterlives," Seamus began. "But you rogues resist your duties and still survived so I'm less sure."

Silas looked toward the sky as the stars emerged. "My duty was to protect Jason," he said. "Even though I've left mortals before―the ones that outgrow a guard early, or the ones that were never interested to begin with―Jason never seemed tired of me. I really thought I could protect him forever: to keep him out of harm's way, to hold up an umbrella for him when it rained, and to remind him that the sun always rises even if you can't see it through the storm..." He trailed off. "I don't even remember what other things I did when I wasn't spending time with him. All I remember is him." He swallowed and paused. "And then I had to leave, and then he took his life."

Seamus looked over her shoulder toward Arael. "Surely this one told you about his cause before you risked treason together. Why did you join his side?"

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#88
Old 01-09-2021, 10:37 PM

Rei stepped back as she noticed the anger rising in her roommate, by the gleam in her eyes and the tone of her voice. "Mars, it's not like that." She spoke quietly when the older shinigami mentioned using children to bait them. "They should've drowned in the lake, and Seamus sees their survival as a sign. The child mentioned the legend of the crystal that dwells within that lake.." She spoke hesitantly.

She paused when Mars voiced that the kids were there and mentioned how they wouldn't be for long. Rei quickly followed Mars inside the tree house. "Wait a minute, Mars." She spoke, pausing when she noticed Lea awake and lowered her head some. Who hadn't heard of the fight? The kids must be exhausted, in fact how could they make it back to the safehouse?

Lea slowly sat up and looked between the two, but her eyes settled on the obviously wound up Mars. "What's the matter?" She asked quietly, rubbing her eyes.

Rei slowly moved her hand up to her mask and tugged it from over her face. "It's been awhile, Lea." She spoke quietly. "I'm afraid Seamus is acting on her own again." She explained, only further confusing the younger shinigami.

Lea shook her head lightly amd reached over to gently shake Jason's shoulder. "Jae, change of plans. We've gotta go." She said calmly, softening her expression as her partner stirred and blinked sleepily.

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Arael slowly shook his head. "I should have drowned in the lake.." He murmured quietly. "But i saw it.. A glimmer of light within a cavern as the current pulled me deeper under the water." He murmured. "The magic is the only reason I believe I didn't drown.."

"My grandmother was considered a traitor when they found the book in her quarters, before she passed it to me in secret. She hoped I would have a similar vision and dream as her, only i was tok young to understand.." Arael spoke quietly. "A trainee has a chance to bond with their mentor in way that connects them, and when i had met the mentor that i had a connection with.. It was unlike anything i had ever experienced."

"When he died though.. It felt i had died as well.." Areal spoke. "I mentioned the legend of the crystal, and the book to Silas in hoping i could make a difference.. And I mentioned going to find it. I never really felt like i truly belonged in Highrose anyway.." He admitted quietly.

 



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