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Mitigated Souls ~ [BlooBlanket & Kitten]

Kitten

|| ʍɛօա ||
Supporter
Joined
Jan 25, 2021
“Are you for certain that you’d like to proceed forward with this?” Sitting across from her, a well-suited man with sleeked back raven locks inquired. She’d come to know this man as Jasper. His hands thoughtfully clasped together before resting them on the circular wooden table, peering into her tiresome golden hues. It felt as if she were being interrogated mockingly, but that truthfully wasn’t the case at all. He merely wanted to know if she was positively willing to go through with this. In front of her laid a document with a sophisticated pen alongside it. The print was in a Medieval-styled font and was nearly too small to read. Thoroughly it explained advantages & disadvantages, gains & losses, and assets & liabilities. Zara peered down at the frail piece of paper that held a great deal of importance, her facial features showing little to no emotion. Her right hand lifted upwards to reach out and grasp the pen that was already uncapped. A vacant line on the bottom righthand side of the paperwork, beckoning her to sign it.

“Yes.” She replied in a monotone voice after an awkward chunk of time had passed. Her wrist flicked chaotically as the sound of scribbling reverberated off from the dull white walls encasing them in. Gingerly she placed the pen back in its respective spot before focusing her gaze onto him. Reaching outwards he’d grasp at the sealed contract, placing it neatly inside of his blackened folder. Taking that folder, he’d fit it snuggly inside of his suitcase before sealing it securely.

“And with that, I’ll go ahead and list your name with the others on the fliers that’ll be posted this afternoon.” Rising from his seat he’d smooth out the wrinkles on his suit before picking up the suitcase from its handle. “You’ll be staying in our quarters. Do not fret, we have a room prepared for you.” Jasper nodded towards the other male in the corner of the room, instructing him to take Zara to her room. It was obvious that he was some kind of bodyguard, and it made her realize just how serious this “business” was. Zara opted out on questioning anything further as she stood from her seat. A white gown sluggishly fitted over her figure, proving to be too large as she had to continuously tug it upwards to prevent it from falling.

The duo left the conference room to leave Jasper to himself, more than likely to handle more business similar to her own. The guard wasted no time in leading the way as Zara trailed behind him. To her knowledge, this floor level was kept in secrecy to outsiders. Those who were interested in obtaining rarities or anything that happened to stand out knew about this place. Many considered it a black market of sorts, but those who were in it purposely put themselves in this predicament, so it wasn’t considered slavery.

Jasper described the process to Zara, comparing it to a ‘blind date’. She’d sit down with a potential “date” for a certain length of time, and once everyone got their chance to meet with her, she’d choose who she liked the most. Anything would be better than her previous life. It was a touchy subject she’d rather not get into, but it was so detrimental that it led her to abandon it and go down this path. It would take a week or two until the meetings commenced to ensure that there were plenty of those interested in this event.

At last, the long-awaited day had come to meet her potential “owner”. It felt dirty to say that, but she didn’t know how else to describe it. Zara heaved in a deep breath of air through her flared nostrils before exhaling out from her slightly opened mouth. Why was she getting nervous now? Three knocks resounded on her door, signaling it was time to begin the process. Zara was given very plain and simple clothes; a white-ish pink dress with laced shoes and arm sleeves. It accentuated her figure but not in a sexual demeanor. The same guard once more led the way to the conference room she sat in a few weeks ago. Zara rested herself into the same chair as before, but no one was on the opposite side of her yet.

A click caused her elongated ears to twitch as the door behind her was now closed, leaving her by her lonesome. To the far-left side of her was another door, to which she assumed would be the entryway and exit for her potentials. Ironically time seemed to shift slowly as she waited for the door to open, anxiously fidgeting her fingers together in an attempt to soothe her nerves. The silence almost caused her ears to ache, but it soon broke into sound as the door creaked to life as it opened. Her head lifted; irises focused on who would come out and expose their identity to her. A final thought slipped inside of her mind...

“I hope everything works out in the end, regardless of what my fate will be...”
 

BlooBlanket

Blanket Overlord
Joined
Aug 29, 2020
Location
Pizza Land 🍕🍕
An odd figure could be spotted prancing about town, dressed in a beige cape and thin leather breastplate overlaying a light blue top, the sway in his step almost theatrical given how much emphasis and flair he put in the swinging of his arms and legs as they stepped over the paved cobblestone road leading to the Adventurer's Agency. It would have been apparent to anyone caught observing this scene that the man (identified as a member of the Catfolk by the triangular ears twitching over his lillac hair) was born to play on a stage. But not one made up by complex architecture, and an equally complex plot structure laid put by the actors on the scene. Rather, it was the stage of life. One that he traversed with the confidence and bravado of a dutiful Knight.

His treading of the city centre would have continued, were it not for a hulking mountain of a man that blocked his path as he reached his destination. He was a brutish, and not excessively smart-looking battering ram of a guard, his unibrow furrowed as he'd look at the Catfolk with neutral and single-minded ox-like eyes, completely black and devoid of any light were it not for the tinge of life they necessarily had to possess to make passerbys aware of the fact that he wasn't, indeed, part of the decor. He gritted his teeth and huffed from his nose like one would have expected of a stallion, raring to go.


"State your business." He snarled at the much smaller man looking at him as if he was nothing but a tiny pebble blocking his path and too meager to even consider a threat to his well-being. However, the guest was quick to reply, in a vibrant, harmonious voice. Not too deep to be excessively authoritative, but not meek and feeble enough to cause him to come off as deathly afraid of the one speaking to him.

"Good day, my illustrious Guardsman. I had an appointment with one of the Adventurers registered here...the other kind if you catch my meaning! And in this stupendous day I wished to-"

As his soliloquy would continue, the man would raise one of the treetrunks he referred to as "arms" as if to swat a fly away. And that fly was him, no doubt. But while seemingly hostile, this gesture was but a signal for him to cease his rambling and listen to what the other had to say, instead.

"Follow m-" And just like that, the man was gone. As the brute looked back, he'd see him walking into the courtyard of the Agency while humming a song to himself. "I-Uh-Hey! Wait there a moment...ah, screw this. They don't pay me enough to deal with these nutcases." And with his fists clutched, he'd return to his post, a few snickers trailing behind him as a few commoners had bore sight to what had actually happened...the Catfolk had used a simple form of Teleportation Magic to traverse the dense matter before him. However, the guard was so...blunt to put it in simple terms, that he had done all but pay attention at the formula he was chanting between the stream of words coming out of his mouth.

The lillac-haired man was welcomed by a very conceited blonde woman wearing formal office attire, leading him down the corridor where Zara was waiting for the first one who should have been interviewed. He remained quiet as the door was opened and he was led inside with a push on the back.

The girl could see...a slim, not too tall man she assumed to be an adventurer. His most striking feature being, no doubt, the deep burgundy eyes that immediately fixated on her as he stepped towards the table and sat down, clasping his hands together and greeting her by raising a finger and tracing a few letters in the air. Runes, prduced by small azure whisps fluttering out of his fingertips as he spoke, though she would have been fixated on the symbols for some odd reason or another.

ᚨ ᛟ ᛞ ᚺ
"Greetings, Zara. My name...is Aodh. I have read all about you in your resumé...scarce as it may have been. I must admit I had been waiting for our meeting for...oh so long. But, the day has finally come and I didn't expect to meet such a charming young lady! Would you like some tea?" With a snap of his fingers, two porcelain cups complete with a kettle had appeared before the two, one for each. A swirl of the man's fingertips would have caused the kettle to float as it poured an amber liquid into hers, the smell definitely indicating a high-quality brew had been employed.

"What can you tell me about yourself, though? What brought you to this decision?" He asked as he took a sip of his hot drink.
 
OP
Kitten

Kitten

|| ʍɛօա ||
Supporter
Joined
Jan 25, 2021
The shadow of the foreigner presented itself onto the cliché carpeted flooring as he began his gleeful march into the somewhat barren room encasing them within. His striding motions and unusually tinted lavender tresses accompanied with crimson hues already signaled to her that he would stand out from the rest. Obviously, this was all first impressions without a spoken word between one another. Without realizing it, her golden hues could not help themselves but stay fastened onto his own maroon irises. With embarrassment, she thoughtlessly looked away to glance at her clasped hands atop of her thighs and began to twiddle her thumbs. She peered back up at him once he sat down and made himself comfortable, but this time she averted her eyes nonchalantly every now and then. ”Should I say something first? Would that be considered disrespectful if I did? I must look like a fool already.” Pessimistic thoughts invaded her worrisome mind, but they all ceased once an unfamiliar 'spell' reflected off from her pupils.

ᚨ ᛟ ᛞ ᚺ
Like a curious puppy, her head tilted towards the left to better understand what he was doing or wondering if she should know what he was trying to get at with the fancy text. Thankfully, he broke the silence that once coated the conference room, and she could not help but huff out a sigh of relief to know that the first hurdle had already passed. Zara’s elongated ears twitched to life as she drank in every word, already growing eager to know more about him and better understand his unique charisma. Her heart flickered faintly with adrenaline as he exclaimed his eagerness to finally meet her; a feeling she was unacquainted with. Before she had an opportunity to respond to his initial question, his digits snapped hastily without warning. Zara could not help herself but flinch in astonishment as a porcelain cup rested in front of her, the kettle quick to graciously tilt and allow a consistent flow of herbal scented liquid into her cup. It was piping hot as steam danced in the air before dissipating to allow another stream of steam to take its place.

Her time to shine came faster than she anticipated as the spotlight fixated itself onto her. Stage fright started to swallow her up as her preplanned responses escaped from her head. The grip to her clasp tightened to break her from her awkward silence, which luckily did the trick. Reaching out with her right hand she would carefully grip at the handle of the cup, bringing it up below her chin to allow it to cool some. “As you already know, my name is Zara. Zara Airx. I would hate to be that person who has a sentimental background story but unfortunately that seems to be the case for me. Due to those circumstances my mind wandered off, desperately trying to figure out a way to get out of it. Before the unthinkable happened, Jasper, the ‘head honcho’ of this establishment, found me and offered a word of advice which was this. I figured if I can no longer live for myself, I might as well live it for someone else if they happen to find purpose or potential in me.

Lifting the cup up, she would place it delicately against her rosy lips before taking a cautious sip. The heat of the liquid alongside the savory taste warmed her mouth and even in her throat as she swallowed it down. “It would come to no surprise that I am very curious about you after the small show you put on before me. I would be lying if I said I was not interested in how you managed to do all of that. I would also be very grateful if you explained to me who exactly you are and why my resume piqued your interest."

Why was she so nervous? Was she asking the right questions? Was she intruding too deeply into his personal life, let alone does she even have a right to get that personal? After all, if everything works out, she's technically his to do as he pleases, but only if he passed her test and she chose him from the others she has yet to meet with. So, realistically, she did have a right to ask some personal questions.

"I hate overthinking..." Ironically, she quietly stated in her mind as she thought once more to herself.
 
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BlooBlanket

Blanket Overlord
Joined
Aug 29, 2020
Location
Pizza Land 🍕🍕
The man listened to her while sipping his tea, eyes closed and pinky elegantly raised. It seemed as if he was ignoring her words, when in reality, the twitching of his own elongated ears and their tips folding was a demonstration of her confession making itself heard. When he was done with his hot drink, Aodh put the porcelain cup down and snapped his fingers, a thin sheet of paper crumpling in his palm as he'd skim over it, then press it onto the table with his index finger. Zara would recognize it as the parchment she had allowed the Guild to publish as an announcement on the local billboards, including a rough, animated mana-infused sketch of her features in the top right corner and some general information that the clients could go over.

Once again, with a very theatrical gesture, the Magus would open his arms and make a small bow, putting a hand on his waistcoat's pocket and then speaking up. "But of course, Miss Airx! Though I would prefer to call you Zara, I never was good with surnames. Can't even remember my own most of the time!" He would let out a good-natured chuckle and continue speaking.

"I am a Magus. Now before you act bewildered, I would like to ask you to refrain and listen to the rest of the story. As you may know, our Race, the Catfolk aren't exactly renowned for their magical prowess. Many adventuring groups rely on our innate agility and senses...and some even profit off of young girls such as yourself as they are highly-sought after as Dancers for sleazy nobles and other rabble." He'd stop to let her take all of this in, then resume. "But...I don't think that's a life a young girl in need should be living. Especially not one who would otherwise have no one to go back to if this task proved to be a less than pleasing one."

His attention shifted back to the sheet, and he would then look into her golden eyes. This man...even though he seemed to be fairly dainty and nimble, his gaze was one that charmed, and gave leeway to almost immediate trust to begin building up in whoever happened to peer back into them. "I am looking for an apprentice. That's right, I'm not talking about any sort of housekeeper or maid or...anything else you may think of that involves demeaning physical labor. I am sometimes requested to analyze Relics and other magical artifacts, and even venture out into forgotten crypts and recesses to make new discoveries on long-gone civilizations. But it is quite dangerous, so I would like to have someone at my side."

He would put both of his hands under his chin and look at her, shaking his head side to side and giving another amused look at the young woman. "And another thing that struck me is how your resume was almost completely blank. Not may would take someone whose past life is a complete and utter mystery under their wing, am I perhaps incorrect in assuming this?" He didn't mean to upset her of course, but it was clear that Aodh was a keen and perceptive fellow. "And lastly, I will be honest, but I thought you were plenty charming yourself. I find such beauty and youthful energy unworthy of being squandered away in some seedy worskhop, straining your back and watching as your hands get scraped and bleed from the effort of keeping up with the rhythm."

His speech would end as his index raised and surveyed her body from a distance, stopping right above her eyebrows and pointing right in the middle of her forehead. "Simply put, I am more interested in what's in there rather than any other skill or talent you could offer me. Training you would be a great pleasure and a new experience. Unless, of course, my hopes were misguided when I picked your flyer in that dusty old tavern and you would rather turn my offer down."
 
OP
Kitten

Kitten

|| ʍɛօա ||
Supporter
Joined
Jan 25, 2021
Every time the peculiar man spoke, Zara couldn’t help herself but be drawn into the conversation more than she was just moments before. She was already growing entranced by how he worded his sentences and his flamboyant movements to accompany it. Patiently she’d sit, respectfully listening to everything he had to say, not daring to interfere as these topics deemed valuable to him. His words elicited her to contemplate over her choice as to why she would even pursue with this unbeknownst future. It was correct, she could be whisked away with those who did not have the best intentions with her. The dull and nonchalant expression that was smeared bitterly over her face conceivably told Aodh how defeated she was with life, and potentially unfeeling in regard to her future. Although, his presence did seem to cheer her up as she gazed into his soothing hues, even if they were tinted with the shade of slained blood.

Feel free to call me as you please, no need to be so formal.” She bit her lower lip thoughtfully as she readjusted in her seat, still trying to comprehend the meaning behind his comments. “An apprentice, huh?” She paused, not understanding where he was getting at. “I have no magical talent; how do you expect someone like me to help you out if the dangers in your adventures grow to be too extreme?” Really, what did he even see in her? He even stated it, that her resume was vacant and enigmatic, what could he possibly achieve from that? “I apologize if I come off with a callous aura. I’m just not really grasping onto why I’d be one of interest after everything you’ve said? How does my mind play a role to you?” She trusted him and his judgement, but she didn't know why yet. Maybe he was putting on a show to entice her, truthfully having harmful intentions for her naïve self.

No.

He seemed genuine and honest.

"I would like to think that I posses these so-called talents you're searching for, even if I don't believe I do." Almost shamefully, her head drooped down in defeat, but quickly raised as determination took over her expression. "I'd like to be taught though, if you see something I do not within me. Everyone is their own worst critic, am I right?"

After he finished up his reply to her if he decided to resolve her inquires, a hearty knock disrupted their conversation, the door unhurriedly opening to reveal the guard from beforehand. He was voiceless as he motioned his fingers to Aodh to come forward due to his time running out with Zara. Something inside of her wanted to extend her hand out towards him, telling him to not leave. He left her with a cliffhanger, and she needed to know more about what was on his mind. If he would look behind him as he wandered out, her golden hues would seal with his. If eyes could talk, they’d say “Wait for me, I’m not yet finished with you.

Three other males came into her enclosed room, one-by-one. Out of fairness, they all shared the same time frame that she had with Aodh, but why did they seem much lengthier? Zara struggled to engage in discussion with them, letting each do all the talking and replying if a question was requested. Aodh’s statements ran on repeat in her mind, unintentionally spacing out with whoever she was with at the time. He was all she could think about, his inquisitive persona really captivating her and drawing her in. If that was his intention, then he unquestionably succeeded.

Finally, the consultations were over with, leaving Zara to herself with a sheet of paper displayed in front of her. The gentleman’s names were sprawled out neatly with an animated mana-infused sketch of their face, like what Aodh presented to her with her resume. She didn’t want to cause suspicion since she already knew her answer. Instead, she played dumb as she continued to scan the paper as if she were truly deciding and having a challenging time choosing. When an acceptable amount of time passed, her pen delicately circled around his name in black ink, lightly pressing it away to signify she completed the final step in this process.

…Now what?
 

BlooBlanket

Blanket Overlord
Joined
Aug 29, 2020
Location
Pizza Land 🍕🍕
"I believe all living beings deserve a chance to explore the extent of their true abilities, and you are no exception to that rule, though you may have not yet realized just how important you may become in the future." He would listen to her unlike anyone else had done before in her life, and perhaps, for the first time actively took her words to heart instead of brushing them off as unimportant. However, he was only able to nod along with her agreement before their interview was halted by the knocking at the door and a guard entering to escort him outside. As if the enchantment had been broken by this sudden, abrupt interruption, the cup, kettle and pastries before them disappeared.

Placing the chair back under the piece of furniture, the Catfolk Magus gave her one last look over the shoulder as he'd drape his shoulders in the mantle he wore and lifted his chin at the Guild staff that let him through. However, as soon as the door shut and left her to gather her thoughts, she was all alone once more. Though soon, more suitors came to exchange a few words with her. It would have been a lie to say none let their eyes fall onto her body due to the way the dress caused her to look, however, most were simply...boring and plain, offering her regular work such as shopkeeping, and nothing more. Either that, or as Aodh had said, they wanted her to act as an "entertainer", though the real meaning behind these words was lost on Zara.

As for Aodh? He had limited himself to sitting on one of the Guild's courtyard's benches, legs elegantly crossed onto each other and hands clasped on his lap, earning many a glare from local adventurers setting out on quests as his tail sweeped the ground behind him and he purred while taking in some of the sun's gentle warmth. The Magus took his sweet time in folding Zara's curriculum back into place and gaze at the uneasy smile that strained her lips. She seemed so...sad and defeated despite being a promising young woman. Even before entering the building, he could tell there was a different magic influx among all of the more well-developed ones. It was weak and feeble, yet harbored great potential. His musing was interrupted by a select few letters of the document's layout scrawling about on the flimsy page, small rivers of ink forming contours that would spell out a simple word, one that had his eyes lighting up in anticipation.

ACCEPTED
The bold black writing caused the man to turn almost ecstatic as he'd pocket the object and take in a sharp breath. Slowly, he imagined the room he had just been in, its' scant furniture and the lonely woman sitting at one of the tables. A warm blue light engulfed his body and his hair began lifting upwards as if an unseen current had been began to rise around him. And just like that, without a single sound...poof. He was gone, only to find himself behind Zara, placing a hand on her shoulder.

The feeling that coursed through the young woman's body was that of a numbing sensation which spread across her articulations, the entire room beginning to fade out like a bright flash had lit it up. Then, everything went dark as the two figures disappeared from the Guild's interior, a sheet of paper wavering in the air as it'd softly fall near the on she had just circled, their contract. A confused guard would then walk in, check to see if Aodh had filled in all of the fields, and sigh as he walked back to his superiors to inform them of another succesful pairing which had just gone through in the room. Though this was mostly unaware to the two since they were long gone by that moment, not even having seen the sturdy wooden door open.


The next thing Zara would feel was a pleasantly cool sensation on her nethers and a distant trotting sound. As she opened her eyes...she found herself sitting on the familiar cobblestone pavement of the town with the lillac-haired man's mantle on her shoulders, and him offering her his hand to help her get up. A carriage passed by them, and he would look at the cat-eared maiden with those enticing burgundy eyes of his.

"That was Teleportation. I hope the journey wasn't a harsh one, and while I would love to have slathered you in more pleasantries...I felt like getting you out of that cozy room to be the best solution. Now, care to see your new house?" He'd ask with his thin right brow lifted to try and gauge her interest at this unexpected proposition.
 
OP
Kitten

Kitten

|| ʍɛօա ||
Supporter
Joined
Jan 25, 2021
After the lingering finalized paper sat on the table restlessly for more than several seconds, a small and fragile light emanated from it. Zara’s eyes couldn’t help but stare, but as soon as it started to happen, it ended just as promptly. The flimsy paper appeared no different as Zara tilted her chin upwards to get a better view of the text to spot any alterations, but that effort quickly evaporated as a lone mellow hand invaded her shoulder. As it would for anyone, this significantly frightened her; to her understanding, she was the only one in this room. Her jaw opened slightly to let out a startled gasp, but nothing came out of her throat. Every inch of her body was numbed and paralyzed to some extent. She wasn’t literally stunned, but it felt similar to sleeping on her arm for too long and attempting to moving the limp limb, except it was throughout her entire body this time.

Darkness, like a cloudless midnight sky, engulfed her and the foreigner who remained behind her. She closed her eyes securely, not like it would make a difference anyways. As her eyes were closed, she could “see” light on the other side of her lids. Curiosity took hold of her, propelling her eyes to steadily reopen to investigate her new situation. Zara was still sitting, but not in the office room anymore. Her new location was the city centre, feeling the heat of the sun drinking her in as a small breeze cooled her skin. The new atmosphere caught her off guard before she remembered there still was someone behind her.

Zara orbited around so rapidly that she was astounded she didn’t break her neck in the process. Aodh’s image sunk deep into her eyes, and if he’d look close enough, he would see his own reflection within those constricting pupils. The weight of his unfamiliar cloak upon her shoulders caused her to look down to examine the new piece of attire. He knew precisely what was on her mind, calmly clarifying what had just happened. She felt fine, only disoriented to some degree.

Now, care to see your new house?”​

A simple yet genuine question that held no deeper meaning behind it… caused her to pause.

M-My home?” She gradually mimed those words but didn’t truly mean it as a query to Aodh. It always amazed her how disbelief could change someone’s mind, like asking obvious questions and pretending something awful or amazing didn’t happen. “Yes, I would very much like to see it, especially if I get to learn more about the meaning behind your words.

If he’d ask to teleport again, she’d decline, already having her fill of newfound magical “fun”. Her request was if they could either walk or ride onto a passing carriage. Since the home was so far away a carriage would be better suited. It wasn’t anything grandiloquent, but it got from point A to point B, and that is all that mattered. Zara’s body shuffled around randomly from side-to-side as the buggy’s wheels met uneven gravel, causing it to lean unevenly. She would sit across from him, trying her best to not gawk at him too frequently to catch his attention. She wasn’t coy but didn’t want to be disrespectful.

Asides from the sound of their environment, the duo sat silently, more than likely deep in thought. “Have you ever done this before? Y’know..?” Zara shattered the silence with a random question, pointing at her chest sheepishly to imply that she was asking if he ever swept someone else away to his humble abode. She’d wait for his response before indulging in small talk, also answering anything that was on his mind along the way.

Tucked away on the opposite side of the forest, a bricked home idly sat with welcoming arms. Moss and leaves entangled around unorderly, giving the medium sized home more character to it. Predicted images flashed in her head, wondering what the inside to this beautiful home looked like. The carriage halted securely, allowing the pair to depart before heading off in the opposite direction.

This home is very lovely, Aodh. I’m honored to be able to stay in it with you.” For the first time around him, her lips tugged upwards into a hopefully smile. It felt surreal.

A new start at life.
 
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BlooBlanket

Blanket Overlord
Joined
Aug 29, 2020
Location
Pizza Land 🍕🍕
"Yes, did you perhaps think I would leave you in a cage while attending to my business? All people deserve to have a fair start and a place to call...well, home." He would help her up with a smile. Aodh's fingers were slender, but there was some sort of hidden-away, gentle strength in the way he held Zara's hand. He'd help her board the carriage they were able to stop, too, in his usual gentlemanly way, with a smile on his face. Even though he didn't speak, the man was indeed always brimming with positive energy and it showed through his actions.

Despite her worries, he didn't seem to mind her reserved behavior, even allowing her to keep his mantle for the duration of the trip towards his house. The Magus simply flicked a flame on and off by snapping his finger to keep himself occupied, and occasionally engaged in conversation with his new apprentice in case she initiated it to get to know more about her employer. However, her question did catch him slightly off guard, a bit of an uneasy look in his eyes.

"If by that you mean boarding a carriage with a fair maiden such as yourself, then no, I can't say I have. As for whether or not I ever took other apprentices with me? That would be a negative too. I was made Grandmaster..." He would look out of the carriage's window and into the wilderness while mumbling to himself. "Two years ago. But I never took anyone in because I wanted to make sure I would be able to care for them properly." The meaning behind the phrase was cryptic, as well as the title he had mentioned...he appeared to be a high-standing member of some organization, though it wasn't the Guild as far as she could tell. Jasper had not mentioned such a role when she went to them to ask for help.

As they were dropped off, the Catfolk handed the conductor a few Gold Coins and gave him a small salute, receiving a tipped hat in return before the horses turned back around and scurried off into the city to presumably pick off more passengers. As the two turned around, the gates that closed off the rather tall hedge wall that ran around the house opened with a dull screech of metal before stopping with a clang. Aodh would let her pass first, and together they would walk alongside the path which led to the house itself. The garden wasn't too big, but the flowers in it gave off a pleasant fragrance and plenty of birds and colorful butterflies found their home there, fluttering around the two newly-arrived guests.


"I hope to see that smile again! Perhaps the time you'll spend here will give you a reason to wear one for the greater part of the day." Aodh seemed thrilled to have a new companion to spend his days with, and as the door opened, Zara could tell that while not luxurious, the levigates wooden boards and paintings on the wall made for a comfortable environment. A spacious hall made way for three split corridors, the left one led to the kitchen, judging from a few boxes of provisions stashed against the wall, while the right one to a living room of sorts, complete with a lit fireplace.

While she was busy observing the place... she would catch the sight of what looked like a broom sweeping the floor on its' own, as well as a dust cloth wiping the large glass windows clean. "Surprised?" He'd ask, taking his mantle off of her shoulders to place it on the coat hanger near the door. "It's low-level enhancement magic, I essentially placed an enchantment which makes cleaning utensils such as those work on their own. Saves me money, I wouldn't be able to pay for maids. Now, let us go upstairs. I will show you your room."

They would be heading down the straight path, passing a few doors which contained a dining room, bathroom and storage room. At the end, thet would find a staircase which led them to the upper floor, where their rooms and other commodities found their place.
 
OP
Kitten

Kitten

|| ʍɛօա ||
Supporter
Joined
Jan 25, 2021
As Zara continued to stride ahead of her to enter the home, Aodh’s comments replayed in her head. “What did he mean by Grandmaster, and why did he casually bring it up without explaining?” Questions infiltrated her mind, but she’d try to brush them off. It wasn’t her place to ask such invasive inquiries, at least not yet. However, it did bring her some ease to know she was his first, and hopefully only, apprentice he would acquire. Standing in front of the entryway before her she nearly hesitated. “He even said it, this was my home.” Zara reminded herself as she sucked in a big heap of air, twisting the knob to the right. It clicked as it granted her access, the door steadily opening to invite her in with welcoming arms.

A warm and pleasant aura drank her in as her face was promptly hit with the distinctive scent of his home, smelling like his cloak that she sported. After all the magical tricks and abilities he showed off to her today, the unattended broom and dust cloth didn’t overwhelm her. “I’m not shocked to see these items moving by themselves after your teapot and cup technique, along with the other stuff.” She'd slightly smile as the thought of their previous encounter trickled in her flashbacks. "I wouldn't mind cleaning the house for you, it's the least I can do after all of the kindness you've given me. Maybe even prepare meals too, although I am not the best with recipes." She'd comment as they headed up the staircase and stopping at the hallway before them.

On the right-hand side, the very last door would be designated as her room. Glancing at the other doors surrounding her, she wondered where Aodh’s room was and what it looked like. Zara predetermined that he’d keep his room a secret, at least stepping inside of it to inspect the layout. After his ambiguous ‘Grandmaster’ statement, who knew what else he was keeping from her for now. She’d most likely be on a trial period before he truly felt comfortable enough to let her into his personal life.

Zara pledged to make it her objective to receive his trust, that’s if he didn’t already have confidence in her.

The wooden door opened, the sunlight from the window ahead piercing through to light up her new quarters. It was very simple and straightforward, and she admired that. The differentiation of colors, such as the bed sheets, curtains, drawers, and rug, made it stand out and give it a personality. Steadily she walked inside, her head turning around slowly to take it all in. Involuntarily her tail swayed from side-to-side happily. Bending over slightly, she’d caress the bedsheets to get a sense of the texture. It smoothly glided against her fingertips, bringing her some form of elation to go to bed that night to nestle into the softness.

It’s lovely, Ao-“ She paused, not taking into consideration the title he wished to be spoken with. “I apologize for overstepping. I didn’t properly ask how you’d like for me to address you.” Embarrassingly she smiled and averted her eyes, believing she already screwed up.
 

BlooBlanket

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From behind her, she would hear a chuckle. Her tail was quite amusing to the man, or so it seemed by the way he would look at it swaying side to side. "I believe that would be of great help. Just make sure to keep your excitement in check! I'm not the best cook, I will admit, and it has been a long while since I last took care of chores myself. Overall...any contribution would he appreciated. Perhaps if we team up, we'll be able to make something good out of it...at worst, we'll burn the house down, or break a few vases." The Magus couldn't help but wonder if she was feeling welcomed, so he simply let the ambience sink in for now.

"You'll be able to decorate this room in any way you wish. That way, it'll be your own private space and safe area...drab as it may look now. But judging from your tail, this won't be a problem, won't it?" Of course, all of the questioning was in jest. He didn't want his guest to feel overwhelmed or even uncomfortable in the slightest due to the way he adressed her, or by leaving an unsatisfactory sistemation for her to spend her nights in.

"Oh, and since you looked kind of confused back in the carriage, I thought I would go ahead and explain what I meant by Grandmaster." After a brief pause, he would start his explanation of what was, in fact, his actual occupation.

"I work for the Institute of Magick in the capital city, which is why I am often travelling in search of ancient ruins or long-lost treasure. Essentially, you could call me an archeologist, scholar, madman... everything goes, and I won't even argue about the last term. It does require a lot of maddening research to produce anything useful." The lillac-haired Catfolk would point at his ears and continue explaining. "Catfolk are rare among members of the Institute. I am one of only a handful or so members, when other Races far outnumber us by the dozen in the seats of the Grand Council and any other public administration divisions."

"Which brings me to my title. Grandmasters are a select few who have showm outstanding magical capabilities, or have contributed greatly to the pursuit of knowledge for the betterment of the world... yet a lot of people, many of my colleagues included, happen to treat their apprentices-"
His expression would become unusually serious as he crossed his arms. "In a demeaning manner. They're more like tools for their Masters' whims than anything else."

"I'm not like that in the slightest. So I decided I would pick someone worthy of my time and who would have no other place to go, and treat them like a peer that should be respected and cared for rather than neglected and often put in dangerous situations just for the sake of it."
As he finished speaking, he would take the chair under Zara's desk and sit down. "On that note, please call me Aodh. Not Master, or anything of the sort. Plus, we are around the same age, so it would feel...awkward, no need to apologize. Overstepping is only natural as we will be living together from now on."

Despite the fact Zara was as of yet, unfamiliar with the magical world, Aodh seemed to be telling the truth and showing greater respect in her, a complete stranger, than Magi usually would towards the common folk, sounding sincere and understanding of her own embarassment. While it was odd he didn't pretend any respect from the woman, he wasn't doing it out of malice, but as a request. He probably did get called "Master" way more than was needed already, and by those who were far more qualified to do so.

"With that all said and done...I put some stew on the stove before heading out, so I do hope you are hungry. Will you be joining me for supper or should I bring some to your room?" He would get back up and gracefully place the chair back under the desk, waiting for a reply while putting the cuffs of his shirt back in place. Now that Zara took a moment to smell her surroundings as well, she could clearly make out a delicious scent coming from the kitchen they had passed on their way there during the tour.
 
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When Aodh cited the way her tail shifted, promptly she terminated those movements to let it lie flat against the backside of her legs. It was embarrassing for her for others to see her happiness for a reason she couldn’t understand. Placing her right hand on top of her left, she’d casually stroke the backside of her hand with her thumb in circular motions before pivoting on her heels to face him. “Heh… Yeah, I really do like the way it looks right now. Knowing that you designed it also adds a bit of comfort to the atmosphere, like you’ll always be here.” Zara shook her head briefly, realizing her overly sensitive words after the fact. Fortunately, before she wanted to apologize for her clumsy performance, Aodh began to answer a question she didn’t ask.

Was it that obvious to tell she wondered about that, or could he somehow read her mind?

Standing stationary, she paid full attention onto him and drank in his explanations as it finally made the puzzle pieces come together. It intrigued her to know that he held such a high title in the Institute of Magick, but she couldn’t help herself and wonder just how skilled he really was. From her encounters in the short amount of time she spent with him, it seemed like all he did was minor “party tricks” asides from the teleportation technique. Just what else did he have tucked under his sleeves? To Zara, it was apparent that he wanted to give off a naïve and fun attitude despite being serious and complex in other areas. It was smart to do that. It made him unpredictable.

Being a Catfolk just like him, it made her feel special to be categorized in a dying breed, knowing that they were exclusive by that one fact alone. When he stated how most cared for their apprentices, it made her frown. Sure, it made her happy to know Aodh was different and wouldn’t subject her to such cruelties, but regarding the others? They weren’t so lucky. It made her gulp to acknowledge that she could’ve been paired with one of them.

Okay, Aodh. Thank you for taking the time to explain that to me. I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t on my mind after you mentioned it on the carriage. I’m very grateful for you and your company. Thank you for inviting me into your home.” Sincerely she grinned, wanting to do whatever she could to be of use to him. He was truly genuine, and we need more people like him in this cruel world. After his question, the fragrances of the cooking stew became apparent and caused her stomach to growl on its own. “I will join you. I don’t want to keep myself locked away from you. After all, we have to get comfortable with one another, right?” Another smile brushed itself onto her lips before swaying around to walk out of her room, waiting for Aodh to come out and lead the way.

Pacing down the stairs, they’d walk for a moment before arriving at the unique kitchen. A large pot sat on a burner, steams twirling high above it before dissipating for new vapor to soar up. The smell was stronger in here, making her almost salivate in anticipation. Looking to her right, she noticed two bowls and spoons on the counter. “Have a seat and I’ll get your bowl ready. It’s the least I can do for right now.” She instructed before taking a bowl and grabbing the ladle to scoop up a decent serving of it. As she poured it, she could depict potatoes, carrots, celery, cubes of roast, onion, and remnants of spices within the broth. “I do have a question, though.” Randomly she announced before walk over to the table to sit his serving in front of him.

I am honored you want me to be your apprentice, but I don’t posses any magical abilities. I will only get in your way.” Zara stated the reality, a hint of sadness embedding itself into her tone. “I’m not sure what you intend for me to do to help you out.” She added on before seizing herself a serving, pacing over to Aodh and sitting on the opposite side of him, like in their first meeting at the office room. Eagerly she waited for his response, spooning a good portion of the stew and blowing on it before putting it onto her lips to take a bite.
 

BlooBlanket

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"Well, I won't exactly be here all of the time, but I do hope it will remind you of our first meeting as well as the start of a brand new life for you." He would lean into the doorframe, his arms crossed as he'd give a small nod. "And you shouldn't worry about your tail, it's not like we Catfolk can help it when we get happy or are scared by something." The young man would point out. Self-conscious as she may have been, he wasn't wrong. Sometimes, it was as if that curious appendage didn't even belong to her body, and the same was true for her ears.

"Ah, and it may have surprised you, but since my work needs me to be focused 24/7, I am...a keen observer. So I can tell what people are thinking at times, but it never happened the first time I met them...weird. With that said, you don't need to worry! The other members are hypocrites, simply put. They may preach about how slavery is wrong, but they won't hesitate to boss their apprentices around, or ask for unsavory favors, if you catch my drift. But I wouldn't worry in your case, I'm not that kind of person and don't plan on becoming one." Her offer surprised him, but his confused expression would soon turn into a smile. "I will take you up on that offer, then. I always eat alone, so this is a welcome change of pace if I do say so myself."

He would follow behind her, having locked the door so that the room wouldn't get filled with the smell of the stew, delicious as it may have been. He opened his mouth as if to protest for a moment, but he quickly shook any negative response he may have planned on giving off and sat down as he was told, a water pitcher and two cups ready for them too. "Sadly, stew is one of the few dishes I am capable of cooking, but I'm not too bad baking pies, either, or roasting fish." He explained in a shaky voice, almost as if he was attempting to justify himself.

Getting comfortable with one another... Her words seemed innocent enough, but was the smile signaling he had made a good first impression? More than once did Aodh think he had went overboard in his introduction despite having reviewed it for weeks on end. He thought she wasn't wrong after all, they couldn't hope for a succesful partnership if the chemistry wasn't there to begin with.

"Yes, what is it?" He would ask, his ears folding slightly before taking the spoon he was given and dipping it in the bowl and revealing a rather large potato chunk he proceeded to bite into before drinking the broth that remained once that was done.

He would listen while eating carefully as the serving was still quite hot, unsure of what she was curious about before he would reply once she had finished speaking. "You see, that is actually a common misconception. In our world, everyone is capable of using magic, but they lack the knowledge on how to channel their mana to produce a spell. The only variable is decided at birth, and that is the type of mana itself. For example, I have Elemental mana, thus, I may use spells which channel the elements to create powerful attacks. I would say I am capable of controlling all four main ones : Earth, Water, Wind and Fire. I am still working on Thunder as well as Ice, but since they aren't included....well, it will take me much longer to perfect them, and they won't be as strong as someone who could manipulate them from birth." He would then place his chin on top of his hands and look at her.

"As for you...we'll discover it tomorrow, and start from there. We'll need to revitalize your circuits, but once that is done, you will be capable of performing simple magic belonging to your specific type of mana. It will take longer than it would during childhood, which is when most Magi start their training, but you'll get to a satisfying level in a short amount of time." With that long explanation complete, he would happily return to eating his stew.
 
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As she ate and waited for his response, she thought back on what he said before they sat down. So, if he was a keen observer, did she have to work harder to not be so obvious with her feelings or thoughts and expressions? No. She had to be open and honest with him. He probably spent good money on her, and she didn’t want to ask since money was a touchy subject for individuals. Again, she grew thankful that she was in his possession and not the hypocrites he talked badly about, but still, it was all talk for right now. It’s true that he displayed nothing but kindness to her for now, but who knew? It could change once he made her comfortable enough.

Like everyone else.

Zara swallowed down her food again, this time with her doubts and fears. She felt bad to know he was used to eating by himself and wanted to eat with him every chance she could if he wanted her company. It was hard to eat after hearing him begin to answer her sorrowful question, and to her bewilderment, was brought to attention that she could also be capable of using magic just like Aodh. It shocked her, probably more than it should’ve. He’d notice as she let her spoon fall into the soup, eyes widening in astonishment. Realizing what she just done, quickly she picked the end of the spoon carefully to not burn her hands, setting it down to wipe it with a nearby napkin. Awkwardly she smiled, feeling stupid for doing something so silly.

Hearing that he has elemental magic, she pondered on how rare this type of magic was since he was granted a very high-ranking role. Of course, everything will take time to perfect, but for him to be around her age and be so talented? He must’ve trained day and night. “What drove him?” She thought before being interrupted by learning that they will aim to see what she can do tomorrow. Zara wanted to spray out her water from her lips, but instead she swallowed harshly and leaned forward, gripping ahold of the table’s edges.

We’re going to see what I can do?!” She searched his face to see if he was serious, and sure enough, he was. “I don’t even know what I am supposed to do to unleash it! And revitalize my circuits? Am I a robot or something?” Zara realized everything in her life was a lie or an illusion. Who knew what else there was out there that would caused her heart to skip a beat in amazement and fear?

After listening to herself and seeing her obscured actions to this new knowledge, promptly she retreated and rested her hands on her lap, apologetically looking at Aodh. “I’m sorry for my rude behavior. I’m just shocked is all… I don’t know where to start or begin with this new life. I do admit, it sounds really cool to know I’ll be able to manipulate things, but I don’t want to hurt you in the process. What if I do something that will be too forceful without knowing?” Zara lost her appetite, infatuated with learning whatever she could from her mentor about this new way of life. Not wanting to be rude, she force fed herself, ironically still being hungry.
 

BlooBlanket

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He would frown slightly, before breaking into a loud laugh upon witnessing her sheer confusion, even knocking his fist on the table as his eyes would tear up. "Haha...sorry, Zara, but that got me good. No, circuits are sort of magical veins through which mana flows across the entire body. Not everyone has the same type, or quality, of circuits inside of them, so as a result, people who share a similar affinity may produce entirely different results for those who employ magic." The Catfolk explained as he placed his spoon over the edge of the cup and turned to face the young woman, elegant as usual in his sinuous movements.

"It's not rude at all, if I was in your place, I would be surprised as well... and I wouldn't worry about hurting me. Even after revitalizing those circuits of yours, I doubt you would manage to hurt me. The difference would be far too great to cause any actual damage to someone of my rank." The man explained, sliding his chair closer to her and putting his hands out before her. "We can even start now. Wait just a moment, please." While saying those words, he would take her hands in his, so that their palms would be against each other's.

Zara felt an unfamiliar, tingling sensation rising from her fingertips, as well as past he wrist and right below her elbow. As for Aodh himself, he would continue acting rather calm, as if this was but a simple process for someone with such proficiency in the magic arts. Suddenly, a faint violet light sparked out of her fingers, causing the Magus to retract and let go of her hands. "There, that should be a good start. Don't worry, it's completely normal for a first-timer. Now, please focus on trying to stop the light from seeping through. If you keep maintaining it for too long, it will just tire you out. We can begin with the practical lessons first thing tomorrow."

With that odd practical demonstration out of the way, the young man would begin to take his bowl back to the sink and rinse it, all while humming. Surely, something of the sort would have been quite surprising for Zara, yet he wasn't too surprised by it. He probably saw crazier things on a daily basis.

"I had prepared some clothes too, mainly for training...they are tailored after Acolytes' robes so they should offer a good amount of comfort overall, and allow you to move freely. But I hadn't exactly kept your measurements in mind, so if they don't fit, feel free to call upon me. They are in the cupboard in the room." With that done, he would stop back at the table and give a small bow. "I have taken a leave from my duties for the next two weeks. We will use that chance to shape you into a proper apprentice!"

He would add the last part with a cheerful grin and a sideways swipe of his tail, his hands joined as he would stretch around for a moment.
"I'm not good with people most of the time but...I hope I have made a satisfying impression overall. Even if in many ways, I am not as perfect as I may seem at first glance...I do have my weaknesses." Scratching his cheek, he would continue speaking to her.

"That said, however, I believe it would be a wise decision to head to bed earlier today. We will need to wake up at dawn tomorrow, after all. If you happen to hear any noises around the house, then it's probably me tinkering in my study." He would wait around for her to finish her dinner as well as processing all of the things she had been exposed to in a single day, crazy as they may have been to take in all at once, this was going to be her new existence and nothing would, for now, threaten to alter it, or snatch it away from Zara.
 
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As embarrassing as it was to see him laughing at the seams about her clumsiness, she couldn’t help but smile and appreciate witnessing him jovial in that moment. Everything was starting to make more sense with each word, realizing that this mana-infested “liquid” was just another complicated system in her body, like her cardiovascular and lymphatic system. Zara nodded in understanding, still freaked out to realize that all along she held this hidden mana in her body. She felt reassured to know she wouldn’t harm him, accepting this hidden gift a little more. Her eyes enlarged at his promptness to begin the process right there and now.

Oh! O-kay!” She stammered slightly before following his lead, watching as he reached to grab her hands. She’d help him along the way and drew her hands to his, feeling the tenderness of his palm lay against her own. In that moment she took time to observe just how much larger his hand was related to hers, longing to know all the expertise they held and the power they would display. He didn’t give her time to adjust to her new position, instantly feeling her lower arm and hand tingle, similar to limbs “waking up” from being numb for too long.

Attentively she watched, waiting for something to happen, but nothing did. Just when she was losing faith in her ability to produce her own magic, a violet light shimmered on her fingertips. Aodh’s hands retracted, leaving her there to figure out this scary process alone. Well, she really wasn’t alone, but how in the hell was she supposed to calm this fire-like thing down?! What did it even mean?! Restraining herself and pressing her ears f to pay attention and listen to him, she’d eagerly try to focus on ceasing this light. She’d imagine her fingers absorbing this unique purple glow, almost as if her fingertips were taking in a deep breath. Slowly, the purple started to fade and dim out, soon leaving her fingers bare like before.

Taking her hands, she’d bring them to her face and gaze at them, amazed that something like that happened to her. “I did it!” Excitedly she cheered, laughing in astonishment as she still thought this was a dream. Once Aodh talked more, she snapped out of her trance and hear what he had to say. Taking her own bowl, she’d rise to her feet, joining him by the sink and waited to wash her own bowl. “Sounds like we’re going to spend a lot of time together, huh?” She commented on him stating having two weeks off. “I’m sure I will learn plenty from you, even if that is a short amount of time.” She reciprocated his grin, stepping in front of the sink now that it was her turn to wash her bowl and spoon.

Don’t be so hard on yourself. You don’t have to do much to impress me. In fact, you don’t even have to impress me. I’m just grateful.” Maybe the high of her newly learned skill was making her all gushy, but she couldn’t cease the excitement boiling in her chest. The time slipped from them, realizing it was already late and the sun was setting. Still, it was early for her to go to bed but the more she thought about it the more tired she grew, realizing she had a big day. “Right. I think that would be a good idea. If I hear you tinkering around, I will leave you be, unless you need to awaken me for help, but it seems like you have things under control.” She’d take both of the bowls and spoons and place them in their designated places.

After cleaning the table from their minor messes, she’d walk upstairs with Aodh as they bid each other goodnight. She’d close the door but told him she wouldn’t mind leaving it open or cracked for him if need be. Looking at the room around her, it started to sink in slowly that this was her own space. Looking at the dresser by the wall, she’d open a drawer and look for clothes, seeing some of the ones Aodh was talking about, along with others. She found a white tank top and some shorts, deeming those acceptable to wear for bed.

Taking her time, she’d peel off each layer of clothing from her figure, placing it in a nearby hamper to wash later. As she striped away, she replaced the missing clothes with others, now having her comfortable sleepwear on. The shirt was a little tight since she was rather busty, and her backside was also very voluptuous and the fabric hugged it securely, but other than that it fit like a glove. Removing the sheets from the bed downwards, she’d hop in her new bed, already feeling like she was on a cloud before laying down. Once she got comfortable enough, she’d sink in and pull the covers up to conceal her. She’d curl up in a ball, bringing her hands to her chest and her knees to her stomach. Nuzzling her head against the pillows, she’s grow more tired and fell asleep before she had the chance to think about everything that happened today, but she did wonder what Aodh would be doing throughout the night.
 

BlooBlanket

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He would silently watch as she panicked, certain that one way or another, his apprentice would be able to complete this simple task at the very least. Now, he could have definitely stepped in, as it was a trivial process and not even too taxing on someone experienced enough in Magecraft and its' nuanced elements, but there would have been a time where Zara was alone, one where he couldn't have helped her. Perhaps, a dire situation only she could resolve through her skills, and as such, what seemed like a basic notion was very simple as to explain to her how to handle this new power, rather than taking care of it outright.

However, once again, she was able to surprise him, and as she cheered due to being able to subdue the mana, he would step closer and hesitate before patting down on her head and giving her a little thumbs up. "Good girl. I knew my apprentice could do it." However, the way he phrased it caused the man to immediately become embarassed and return to cleaning his bowl. "A-Anyways, I probably won't need any help, so just rest as much as you need to. Can't let you get burnt-out on the first day here, it'd be bad for you to tire yourself out so soon, no?"

Either way, they were soon done with the chores and one by one, the candles which kept the house well-illuminated went off one by one, save for those in her room. She would find that while certainly tight in a few areas, they proved to be comfortable, soft and overall warm to the point she may as well slept without any covers. It was late spring, though that year had been chillier than the previous ones and many farmers had lost their crops to the snow or hail which covered the fields almost completely.

Throughout the night, there came a few noises which no doubt were the result of the Magus trafficking in his study and discarding metal scraps, bolts and components which would have been of no use to him. Though, it was a mystery as to what exactly he was doing inside of that locked room. Probably a particular task related to his complicated work, artifacts weren't exactly easy to examine without the appropriate pieces of equipment and sufficient time. Maybe one day, she would have been able to assist him in some way or form?

She slept peacefully, until a soft knock at the door roused her from her slumber. The voice which filtered through from the other side was Aodh's, and he seemed excited about what they would have been doing to say the least. "Zara? Good morning, I hope you have slept well. Breakfast is on the table...I will be waiting for you outside, so take your time in getting ready. I... wasn't certain on your taste as far as nightwear is concerned, so I simply put what I thought would have been the most functional set of clothing in the wardrobe. Hope you won't bear me any ill will if your tastes lie elsewhere."

With that, the Catfolk would head down the hall and the sound of his footsteps gradually diminished. It seemed like he had gone outside, if one were to judge from the sound of a door being opened and closed. He would pace about the front of the house, his tail sweeping from side to side in sheer nervousness. "I'm praying I don't make a blunder...one-on-one lessons always make me nervous, I never was too good at them. Then again...it's Zara, so she will likely be very easy to get along with."

It was a wonder how she had gone along with the terms without so much as a complaint, though the chances for them were always there to begin with. A stranger, taking an attractive young woman to a private location where he offered lodging and work, without asking anything but her presence in return? It certainly was odd.
He tugged at his training robes and balled his right hand in a determined fist. He wasn't doing this just for her sake, but also to prove himself as a capable teacher.

As for what awaited her in the kitchen, it was a medium-sized breakfast, pancakes and a cup of coffee, accompanied by a small bowl of oatmeal complete with some wild berries to give it a fruity flavor to start the day off with on a good note and give her enough energy to train for a few hours.
 
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Knock!

Hmmmm” Zara grumbled with her lips sealed and eyes still closed, hearing the delicate knock that was still noisy enough to wake her from her slumber. Her body altered, resting on her back instead of her right side and sluggishly opened her eyes, eyeing at the ceiling before her. She almost forgot where she was, a little disoriented but recalled she was living with Aodh now, his muffled voice stuffing in her ears to let it set in. Still trying to wake up, she heard everything he said; Change to training clothes, breakfast on the table and hoped she liked it, and go outside when she was done. Simple stuff, no problem.

Okay, thank you Aodh…” Lazily she shouted loud enough for him to hear, yet her voice still lacked that spunk. Stretching her limbs to loosen the stiffness, she would yawn heartily before tugging the covers off from her body. His footsteps faded off into the distance, hearing the front door open and close. The room temperature was already warm since it was late spring. Zara lifted upwards to sit up, twirling her body around to plant her feet on the ground and hoist herself up. Another stretch, her tail also extending out to feel the endorphin’s coax her body to rejuvenate. Taking a few steps, she’d reach her dresser, tugging at a few doors to find which one held her training clothes. She found it within the middle drawer, pulling out the light grey body suit. She’d hold it up against her body, nodding in approval before securing the brown tinted pants that came along with it. There was also a standalone cloak in case it was frigid, but it was not needed for the moment.

She didn’t want to waste any time and leave Aodh waiting, knowing he won’t be joining her for breakfast which would take her even longer. Zara wondered if he ate already or skipped out, and if he did eat first, why didn’t he invite her? “He’s probably still used to being by himself.” She muffled under her breath as she tied her hair up into a tight ponytail before reaching to secure on the elongated boots that went up above her knees. Peeling off each layer of clothing, she’d replace it with the training outfit. Again, it was tight against her chest, seeing her cleavage want to bust out from the slit in the middle of the bodysuit, even though it went up to her neck. Her pants were tricky to get up her well-rounded rear, but she survived once she passed the hurdle that was her plump cheeks. Adding in the finishing touches, she’d slither the boots on her shapely legs, taking a few steps to see if they fit. Luckily, they did, but she regrettably had to tell Aodh they may have to readjust her clothing after today’s session. They were good enough for now, but it will be bothersome eventually.

Before ushering herself out her door, she’d remake the bed and put her clothes in a hamper. The room was already starting to smell like her, a sweetened fragrance that wasn’t too obnoxious. Closing the door, she quickly paced down the stairs and make a sharp turn towards the table. Neatly on the table sat a cup of coffee and pancakes, accompanied by a petite portion of oatmeal with an assortment of berries. “Is he trying to make me fat?” She chuckled to herself before sitting down. Zara almost wanted to skip breakfast just because she didn’t want him to wait any longer but didn’t want to be rude to the thoughtful meal he prepared just for her.

Like her Catfolk descendants, she’d thoughtlessly scarf down the food before her, but not because she was hungry. Zara was still able to appreciate the taste of his food, not being a picky eater. She washed down her meal with the coffee, being cautious as she sipped it since it was still piping hot. Springing upwards, she’d grab each dirty dish and cup and wash them in the sink gently yet rushed. Drying them each, her hands would shuffle to put them back in their respective spot.

As soon as everything was cleaned and neat, she’d march towards the door and open it steadily, taking in a deep breath and exhaling from the nerves of what today was going to entail. Her golden hues instantly caught on Aodh, wearing a unique set of robes that suited him nicely. She had to admit, in his other clothes he looked slim and fragile from how baggy they were, but in this apparel? It hugged his torso more and she could see the shape of his arms, looking more masculine than she imagined. Zara had to blink a few times to get ahold of herself once she got caught off guard. By now he probably noticed her entrance.

Good morning, thank you for the breakfast. It was lovely, but it would’ve been better if I could see you sit across the table with me!” Maybe that was too pushy of Zara to say, but she wanted him to know that she wanted to join him so he wouldn’t be alone and get used to her company. “Don’t fret, it’s okay for now, but I thiiiiiink this may be a little too tight. I can still move around in it and such, but once it gets washed it’ll shrink even more.” She boldly stated before casually rubbing the back of her head embarrassingly with her right hand.

Randomly she’d take her hands and slap her palms together for one clap. “Okay, I’m ready for whatever we have to do today! What can I expect? Will I get overly tired from using this new source of energy?” She questioned as she walked closer to him, standing around 5 feet away from him now.
 
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BlooBlanket

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As she made her way towards him, Zara was able to perceive a certain...tension emanating from the Magus. Did she have something on her face? Was her hair out of place? Her tail crooked, perhaps? But no, just as she herself had noticed, it was the way the outfit hugged her body that surprised him. Something which would quickly be confirmed by her own words and get the Catfolk to be even more coy about the entire situation.

"L-Let me fix that for you, Zara." With a swirl of his index finger, she could feel some of the pressure on her chest area slowly coming off as the fabric stretched to accomodate the added strain her curves brought upon it, and the same could be said for the shorts she had struggled to fit in. "I wasn't sure of your measurements from the announcement image alone, so I purchased these without thinking. I apologize." With this out of the way, he would change back to his more confident behavior when it came to matters he was competent about.

"I'll be having breakfast with you from today onwards, then. I get up so early that I usually eat by myself regardless of the time of the day...I rarely have time to think about the smaller details, so sorry for leaving you to your own devices this morning." With a nod of his head, he would point to an area not far from their current location.

"That is our training spot, let us head there so that we can start putting in some work while it's still early...this breeze is nice, don't you think so? It is better than training in an oppressive climate." He'd tilt his head at the curious look she gave him, almost like she was studying his clothing...or better yet, the way said clothing stuck to his body. Did all the women in town behave like her? Surely, if he looked at his apprentice in the same way, she would have gotten the wrong idea on him as a person and his personal values.

As they approached the training site, entering a small grove where the trees could barely filter the sun rays and exotic birds chirping made for a relaxing atmosphere, he would reply to her question. "You will likely feel mildly tired the first few days, yes. But it is completely normal, so I wouldn't worry about it. Must have been quite the surprise to learn you could use magic all along though, I assume?" He asked, turning around to look at her and make sure she wouldn't step over any of the roots or branches that would impede their progress.

"And here we are. I originally purchased my house after learning it was near a set of ruins. However, I haven't grasped their past or learned who may have built them." Before the two Catfolks, the small forest opened up into an ample clearing, where tall arcs and pillars, as well as the remains of floortiles and walls stood. The air was filled with the thick scents of the plant life, fragrances that prickled her nose and even felt...intoxictating to some degree, making her feel somewhat dizzy until all of a sudden, the young woman couldn't help but feel at peace in that moss-covered, solemn environment.

Aodh took her by the hand and lead her right in the middle of the innermost section of the archeological site, looking into her eyes. He would take a deep breath before speaking and detailing what they were going to do to initiate her to the magical arts.

"Put your hands, like so-" He would bring his hands to his chest, palms opposing each other as if he was engaging in prayer but had stopped just before joining them, a thin layer of mana starting to cover his body. "Open your circuits...and focus." A warm, blue globe gradually shaped itself from the tiny will-o-wisps surrounding the young man, very similar to the ones that had engulfed them both when he teleported her away from the Guild. "This will teach you to gather all of your energies into a single area. It's important for higher-level spells and the like, though it may take you some time to perform. This is one of the most basic practices for beginners. The hard part is... maintaning the necessary concentration."
 
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Breathing out a sigh of relief, Zara moved her arms around and twisted her torso to appreciate the slack in her attire. It was nice to not feel suffocated. “No need to apologize, thank you for adjusting it for me. You have nice taste, by the way!” She grinned before commenting on his breakfast explanation.

I don’t mind if it’s earlier than when I usually wake up, I’ll be more than happy to join you. I can always go back to bed if you don’t need me afterwards.” She reassured him but felt bad that she might’ve made him feel bad about it. He didn’t seem too fazed by it though, returning to their purpose for this encounter.

Her golden hues followed his pointed finger towards their training grounds, nodding her head at his comment to start early and appreciate the small breeze before it faded away. “Yes, it is nice.” She walked right alongside him, feel leaves and twigs crunch or snap under the weight of her steps. She took this time to take in her surroundings, gazing around to appreciate the scenery.

Aodh sparked some minor conversation as they entered the grove within the trees, Zara bending her head backwards to gaze at the sky, small spots of sunlight bled through any opening they could. “We’ll just have to wait and see how tiresome this gets. I am very surprised that I can use magic, and I’m ready to figure out its full potential and help aid you.

He must’ve noticed her figure slightly wobbling from the overwhelming toxic scents that left her dizzy, grasping her small hand to guide her into the center of the ruins. It only took a moment before Zara was normal, wondering what had just happened.

Immediately their training began, Zara attentively staring at him to show she was paying attention and concentrated on him and his instructions. Awkwardly, she’d mimic his hands, not as graceful with their placements but it got the job done. Nothing sprouted from the unique hand positions but gawked at Aodh in amazement to see how he did this so… effortlessly.

Open my circuits?” She questioned him, not knowing what he meant but assumed it was something similar to what they did last night by the kitchen table. Still watching him as he explained and wrapped up his first set of explanations and demonstrations, she’d try it out for herself. Heaving in a deep breath of air, she’d close her eyes, calmly letting that inhaled breath escape her lips.

She imagined that her fingers held a different flow within them, pulsating alongside her heart. They were warm, but the tension within their vein-like barrier wouldn’t let the liquid within to flow out. She tried to feel those walls melt away, that liquid being freed to roam wherever it chose, now hot instead of a slight warmth. Opening her eyes slowly, she’d see that same violet glow emit from her hands, doing exactly what Aodh was, but was severely weakened compared to his. “Woah….” She murmured in awe, fixated on the magic that emanated from her. “W-What now?!” She started to freak out, though nothing felt wrong.
 

BlooBlanket

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"Now...you should try your best to maintain it for as long as possible, and gradually add more overtime by open your circuits slightly. If you are able to focus the mana in a single point and avoid becoming tired...you will be able to manipulate it, too. Like so!" He would raise his hands and with it, the sphere created by his concentrated mana would float upwards, hovering in the air before floating back down, the Catfolk juggling it back and forth between his hands. Snapping his fingers, he would add even more of the blue wisps to go with it, humming all the while he gave this small spectacle.

"And the best part, is that these little globes are completely and utterly harmless. Even if your skin comes into direct contact with the mana, it will simply absorb a small quantity of it, which will then be absorbed by your circuits and improve things like blood circulation and keep you warm. It's why I picked those clothes out, they are light, thus they will prevent you from overheating...and it is also the reason why Magi only wear light armor, if any. Using magic is tiring enough as it is, so having a lot of added weight and materials which cause you to sweat a lot... aren't the most suited." With that explanation, he would bow forward and extend his right hand, all of the spheres "stacking" onto each other before disappearing back into his palm, his fingers lighting up once more.

"Tell me when you start getting tired, and we will take a break." With that, he'd nod and sit on top of a wall's remains, legs crossed as he watched his apprentice abide by the simple orders she had been given as her first lesson. "I should also say that the spores produced by the plants in this forest have a strong, enhancing effect for us Magi. The adverse effects being...a fearsome appetite, as well as occasional migraines or a fever."

However, he wasn't done with the questions. Aodh was very curious to learn more about her, as well as what convinced her to leave her past life behind. "Zara, what was your family like? You are quite young, like me, so I assume they are all living...unless they aren't, in which case, I sincerely apologize for being blunt and won't pry any more than it is needed for us to have a fulfilling collaboration and healthy relationship."

He hoped she wasn't all alone, other than having him acting as her Master. Aodh knew well how the younger years could be very tough for someone to accept. Loneliness was a slow, achingly painful sensation to endure for a child, or even as an adult. He had always wished to learn about his parents, yet they had cast him away before he could even so much as remember what they looked like...only the image of a small hand reaching for two far-away figures remained in his mind, an unpleasant thought he would soon shake away and focus on the young woman before him instead. Private matters could wait.
 
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Those eyes of Zara couldn’t stop widening, wondering how in the hell he managed to keep doing all of those tricks and bring even more into the picture without even trying?! She knew why of course, but it still amazed her, nonetheless. She nodded after each sentence to let him know she was concentrated and learning, storing everything in the back of her head to revisit it over again. Her mindset continued to imagine feeling those imaginary circuits opening more, drawing her palms further away from each other to create the smallest of whisps, the purple orb levitating before her.

Aodh was right, it didn’t burn or hurt at all, but she did feel warm from absorbing remnants of it like he warned. “Yeah, good choice with the clothes again.” She mentioned, her eyes still fixated on the precious little orb in front of her. She made her palms get closer together, the ball of magic squishing a bit before bouncing back to normal when she moved her palms away again.

As if on cue, her stomach slightly ached as if she never ate fifteen minutes ago. Her brows raised in astonishment, yet so confused to this new way of life. It almost overwhelmed her, not even a full day passing since she learned of her hidden talent. She shook those thoughts out of her head, returning her gaze to the task at hand, but the orb quickly dissipated once Aodh asked her a very personal question. She paused, almost frozen, wondering what she’d say. “N-No… it’s fine.” She brought her hands back to rest against her thighs, giving her hands a rest in the meantime since they were growing tired anyway.

I hate to be that person. You know, the one with the sob story. I will try to make it sound less awkward though.” Her head turned off to look into the near distance, trying to formulate the right words before continuing on with her life story. She returned her gaze into his eyes. “Even though they brought me into this world, my parents never gave me the right affections a child should receive. I was very deprived, always lonely, wondering what I did to make them that way.” She sighed, but not upset to answer his question at all.

When I got old enough, I left and even told them. Of course, they couldn’t care less. Hell, they were probably happy to know they had one less mouth to feed.” She laughed lightly, finding her dark past amusing now. “I stayed at the homes of my close classmates, girls of course, until I had to move onto the next one. Well, those homes were no longer available, and there were none to go to. I tried to get by on my own, but it made me uncaring as to what would happen to me. Not like anyone cared anyways.

Before he had a chance to chime in, she continued. “That’s when I figured I couldn’t live a life for myself anymore. I didn’t want to be here, but I thought that maybe someone else could for once find my life purposeful, be it for me or their selfish ways.” This time, her look was serious as she stared him down. “What you said earlier, about apprentices being taken advantage of, I knew that theme would’ve been a possibility once I signed those papers, and I didn’t even care if I was tossed aside after usage. At least I was needed in that moment for once…” Noticing just how serious she got, quickly she raised her hands to him, waving them quickly. “Don’t apologize or feel bad, everything is fine now, I got lucky with you, and even if you do change, I’ll still be happy because you need me for something.
 

BlooBlanket

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"I shouldn't have...many people don't take kindly to their lives being looked into. Good work on controlling your mana, though." He would listed to her speaking, still perched onto his wall as the young woman would detail her past, and how her parents never saw her as anything more than a nuisance, a burden on their finances. He could definitely understand why she'd rather not talk about them prior to enlisting in the Guild, hoping to find someone who could help her out find a purpose in life and never be alone again.

"You don't need to thank me. Starting from now, this is your home, just as much as it is mine. We only have each other, so please do not be afraid of relying on me, should you need to do so. I will be welcoming you with open arms whenever possible, and will do the same...I'm counting on you, my apprentice. I wouldn't be able to keep looking at you in the eyes if I didn't care about you."

Clearing his throat, he would step back in the middle of the ample room and take a few items out of his pockets, placing them each before the young Catfolk and leaving her wondering what exactly she was supposed to do with them as part of the training.

They were a candle, a marionette,a piece of ripped cloth and a spoon.

"Alright, so...please step forward. I will now explain the last thing we're going to go over for today. We will need to discover what exactly you are capable of controlling as far as your magic is concerned. There are four main Schools Of Magic. They are Enhancement, Element, Manipulation and... Support, or Healing. But, since the Magi which possess the latter tend to have more than simple healing magic at their disposal, such as creating shields or even surgical-based attack skills, they are grouped together... though the higher-leveled scholars who have mastered their School may adapt other abilities in their arsenal." With that lengthy explanation out of the way, he would point at each item in rapid succession.

"Now, should you belong to the first, that spoon will become as sharp as a knife, and I will request you to attack me with it should that be the case. If you can manipulate Elements, like me-" He would kneel over and place his hands at either side of the candle, a small flame lighting up from the wick. "Then, a small flame will appear. For Manipulation, that marionette will begin moving on its' own, and lastly...those who are capable of using Support-type abilities will cause the cloth to stitch itself back together and end up looking as good as new."

Taking a breather, he would put the flame out and let her try those items out for herself. "Just...put your hands together like I showed you and focus your mana all in one spot. It may not be immediate and may tire you out, but it is the only certain way to determine how your training will progress." With that, he would fall back into silence to allow the young woman to let it all sink in, and fully understand the concepts he had explained to her. Up until now, she had only ever seen magic as being used to take care of boring household duties rather than a gift which could produce unique and extraordinary results the likes of which she had never witnessed save for the odd, unexplainable event here and there as told by acquaintances or tavern patrons.
 
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There was something about the way Aodh responded to her not-so-great past, and how he made it into an optimistic situation opposed to reminding her of her nostalgic adverse emotions. She was at a loss for words, trying to convey anything she could think of within her head to say something just as lovely, to thank him for everything, and to let him know none of this will go unappreciated. Before she had a chance, the training commenced once more. In a way she was glad he resumed, but at the same time she wished she would’ve told him all of that.

Maybe another time or day, as well as asking him about his own past.

Striding forward as requested, her eyes couldn’t help but look intently at the four objects before her, clearly wondering what their aim was for training. Her head raised, listening and watching him explain the possibilities of each item, knowing what they will do if she were able to succeed with that certain School of Magic. “…Why would you want me to attack you if I manage to enhance that spoon?” Her brow quirked upwards, already thinking that he’d gone mad.

Once the explanations were over with, Aodh paced backwards to give her some space, allowing her to use everything she learned today and put it to the test. Zara would be lying if she said she wasn’t intimidated, having Aodh stand there and watching her every move. Inhaling through her nose and exhaling out of her mouth, she’d soothe those building nerves and concentrate like before.

Shifting, her hands lifted to get into the casting stance, feeling the heat of those circuits as they ignited. Her first choice was the dainty piece of cloth that was ripped in almost two sperate pieces. She was always fond of the idea to help those around her, making them feel livelier than mere seconds ago. Golden hues locked onto the fabric, trying her hardest to get a reaction out of it. Sadly, for Zara, nothing was happening, but when she looked down at her magically weakened hands, she realized how much strain she was forcing onto them.

Readjusting her poise to become more comfortable, she’d try again. Once more, nothing transpired. She felt as if she were doing this for nothing despite the violet glow to her palms. Right then and there… she wanted to give up. But when the sides of her eyes took notice of Aodh mutely standing there, she retold herself that she mustn’t give up. He had a lot of faith in her, and she didn’t want to spoil it.

Taking the failure as a life lesson, she’d move onto the next, the spoon. She dreaded the teeny and harmless piece of silverware, but she was fully aware of what it would become if she succeeded. It wouldn’t be that bad if she didn’t have to attach Aodh with it. Using her all, determined and persistent, nothing happened yet again. For this one though, she sighed in relief. The heat of her mana usage was starting to make her warm, Zara tugging her ponytail up higher so the ends of her hair wouldn’t get damped as it laid on the nape of her neck with sweat if it came to it.

Thirdly, the marionette laid there unmoving. The elegantly polished wood was glossy which caused it to shimmer faintly as the sun spewed its rays against it. Zara took a brief moment to cool herself with her right hand, fluttering it up-and-down as if it were a Japanese Sensu fan. Readying up again, she’d put just as much emotion as the other two, eyes closing occasionally to feel the flow of those imaginary circuits. With her eyes closed, she heard a faint creaking sound, immediately reopening them to see what had happened. As Aodh stated, the lifeless object moved effortlessly due to her magical commands. This severely caught her off guard, lurching backwards and ceasing the positioning of her hands unintentionally, causing the thing to fall back as if nothing had ever happened to begin with.

Uhm…” She looked at Aodh in disbelief, trying to comprehend that she just did that… or did she? “Did you do that to play a joke one me because I wasn’t succeeding with the others?” She inquired, not wanting to believe that her life could really be something like a real-life fairy tale.
 

BlooBlanket

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At first, Zara's difficulties had him slightly concerned. Perhaps she wasn't ready to handle the test this early into their training, but it was a needed step to continue her progress into the new existence she had been thrust into without so much as a warning. Her question about why she should have attacked him brought a smile and a jovial laugh out of the man, needing a moment to compose himself and go back to his previously relaxed attitude. He would shake his head side to side.

"I doubt that would cause me any problems. I am pretty nimble, if you couldn't tell by looking at me." He chuckled, pointing up and down his slim frame. "Enhancer Magi are quite fearsome, though. Their tempers tend to be really notorious among other Races and they require the least amount of mana to maintain their abilities." With more exposition to give, he would step forward and continue to examine the woman.

As soon as he heard the faint creaking coming from the wooden joints of the object, he knew what he would've been dealing with. The marionette stood up, its' limbs stiff and movements uncertain as it made a few steps forward with an odd gait, blinking as it rotated its' head around and opened its' jaw several times over. Soon, however, Zara felt the strings of mana keeping her connected to the possessed object weakening and disappearing, the poor little toy falling back onto the ground with a small thump, limbs strewn across the tiles in a comical fashion.

Aodh would pick it up by the arm, fingers under his chin in a v shape as he reflected on what had just happened. He looked at the object first, then at Zara before helping her back up to her feet and giving her a headpat, handing the marionette over to her once more. "Good girl. You're overheated, however, so that will be it for today...or better, a few hours. I'll have more instructions for you once dusk falls." He complimented her so casually, without even minding the connotation his words may have held in a vastly different context. "This is yours now. I have no use of it, since it can be bought at any toy shop in town. But it may become useful for you once you learn new spells and progress as a Maga." He nodded as she'd take her time in examining the amenity in her palm, looking like any ordinary marionette.

With that, Aodh and Zara would slowly make their way out of the forest, the man helping her in navigating the trecherous ground. By the time they emerged, it was late afternoon. There was definitely something magical about those ruins, if the passage of time had been so swift as to the girl not realizing how much of it had passed, and so fast, too.

"I'll get a bath prepared for you. Just need to to heat the water up...any preferences for salts or balms to wash yourself with?" The man would ask once they were back in the hall, opening a cabinet and handing her a bathrobe, towel and looking at some of the many, many recipients to give her so as to rid her body of the sweat and fatigue which had accumulated over the day. "I have quite the stock in here, if I may brag. Though I never had the chance to try them out for myself, I don't partake in any of the more luxurious varieties unless it is needed for a guest."

He paused, and looked at her. "I will be taking mine once you are finished, Zara, so do feel free to take your time. You did your best today, so I am very proud of that, I knew there was a certain...air about you." For a moment, the young man looked... quite convincing with the way he praised her like no one else had ever done before now. It was nice to know he was different than whoever else may have taken her in.

"That said, you may discard your clothes wherever you desire, I will be seeing that they are washed and ready to be worn by tomorrow. And they won't shrink, so you shouldn't worry about them...not fitting." He would be reminded of the way the tight garments fit around her and pause for a second, only to whisk those thoughts away in the deep recesses of his mind. It wasn't right to think of his apprentice in such a manner, unless he wanted her to view him as a degenerate like his elders.
 
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A burning blush started to paint itself on her face, her head being patted with the words ‘Good girl’ attached with it. Zara hoped, no, prayed that he would take her flushed face as a sign of overheating. Sighing out, she was glad that training was done for the day, feeling as if she already used up everything she had for the day. She nodded at him, taking the petite marionette within her hands and inspected it closely as it limply jolted around whatever direction she was going. “Okay, thank you for letting me keep it.” Simply she responded as the awkwardness still coursed inside of her from his harmless praise. She knew he didn’t mean anything out of it, but that’s the first thing that came to mind.

Swallowing down the lump in her throat, she’d follow Aodh as he led the duo out of the forest. The sun that glowed high above shifted from the change in time, Zara realizing a good chunk had passed even though it didn’t seem like it. Soon the home was in sight, Zara already yearning to lay down and pass out from her magical exertion.

Once they entered inside, Zara closed the door behind them, enjoying the coolness that encased her in the home. She listened to Aodh, eyes widening before looking away at the thought of him making her a bath, wanting to hide herself into her shirt like a turtle. She was more than capable of preparing her own bath, but she understood that Aodh wanted to be a good host. Trying to not make anything uncomfortable, she’d look into the cupboard with him and examine all of the balms and salts.

He wasn’t lying when he said he had a large stash. Wearily she grasped onto the bathrobe and towel, replying to him though she found it hard to formulate words. “I’m guessing you have a lot of guests who visit you often? You should try one of them out for yourself, no need to stare at them and not use them, you know? I’m not picky, just give me one that you like.” She talked rather fast without intending to and she wondered if Aodh noticed. Once he gave her the salts and balms of his choosing, she’d get even redder at what he said next.

Everything. From him mentioning that she brought a certain air to her, how he'll wash her clothes, and stating that they won't shrink even after being washed by him.

There was a subtle pause after he spoke, Zara not wanting him to look at her clothes and clean them out of embarrassment, knowing he'll touch her undergarments. “No no no! I will clean the clothes, and I will draw my own bath. You’ve already done too much! Hehe… O-okay, I’m guessing the washroom is upstairs to the right, right? I’ll get going so you can quickly take one next. Thanks!” Like a bullet she jogged up the stairs, not even giving him a chance to retaliate or chime in.

Once she reached the top of the stairs and out of his line of sight, she pressed her back up against the wall and breathed heavily, trying to compose herself since she was freaking out for no reason. “C’mon, Zara, snap out of it!” She shook her head like a dog trying to dry itself, wanting to rid the thoughts out of her mind. When she felt stable enough, she retreated from the wall and found the washroom, quickly closing the door and sat her items on a nearby bench.

Leaning downwards, she’d navigate the knobs by the faucet and turn them on, manipulating them enough to get to the right temperature for her. Her left hand fell underneath the faucet, testing the water before letting it fill up with that same temperature. Pivoting, she’d inspect the balms he’d given her to use that he liked. It was purple, wondering if he chose it because of her newfound magic color. Putting it up against her nose, she’d inhale, smelling the scent of lilacs. “Good choice.” She hummed to herself before dropping it into the rising water, watching it spin around as the chaotic fizziness consumed it to dissolve.

In the meantime, she’d peel off each layer of clothing, looking behind her to make sure the door was indeed closed before she continued any further. Of course, it was sealed, allowing her to continue. Due to her dampened skin, the clothes stuck onto her, making it a tad bit tasking to take off. Once her body was left bare, she’d take her clothes and set them to the side to wash them herself later in the evening. Shyly she wrapped her arms around her chest to smoosh her breasts together and cross her legs, feeling weird to be nude in her new home even though she was alone.

Zara retreated her hands from her chest to turn off the water, gently guiding herself to sit down and be consumed by the water that was on the verge of being too hot. It felt good to be wrapped in this warmth, Zara leaning her head backwards to rest against the tubs edge as she sunk down further, closing her eyes briefly to relish in this. The balm worked wonders on her skin, already feeling it caress her and make it softer, the scents from the water encasing her.
 
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