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Thread: A Bond Born in Blood

  1. #1
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    Nevin's Avatar

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    Nevin Aimaparapoiitis
    Location
    Corone

    A Bond Born in Blood

    (This is a Solo, forgot to type that in the title.)

    Nevin was tapping his graphite stuck against his notebook, not really seeing the notes he had been working on for the last half hour. It was somewhat late at night, and the only light the alchemist had to work with at this point was the flickering glow of a candle that was sitting beside his hand on the desk. The dim lighting wasn't responsible for his distraction though - that was to be blamed on the ruckus that was going on outside.

    The walls of his shop had been muffling the noises for a while, and it was only in the last few minutes that they had gotten loud enough to actually be distracting. His eyes were now trained out the window, wondering if whatever was going on out there would go by where he could see it - to satisfy his curiosity about it if nothing else. But that didn't seem to be in the cards tonight, as the sounds stayed on the other side of his shop, moving back and forth along the street from what he could hear.

    He tried to get back to work, convinced that whatever was going on out there wasn't as important as the formula he was trying to build - or the symbols he was currently trying to decipher, as the case may be - but every time the graphite started to mark the page again there was a fresh surge of noise that broke his concentration once more. A long, frustrated groan slid out from his lips - Nevin was sure he'd been on the verge of a breakthrough in understanding one of the runes, but now it was gone. Magical comprehension didn't work the same for everyone, so he was forced to work on this on his own and now-

    ”Would someone CATCH the ruddy bird already!?” The shout rang out from right outside of his window this time, and Nevin looked up in time to see a red-and-black blur shoot by the open shutters - and what was with the faint trill of someone playing a flute? - barely visible in the weak glow of the candlelight. Moments later a few people ran by, one holding a lantern that was shining brightly in the dark gloom, another carrying a large net on a stick - like an oversized bug-catching net, to Nevin’s untrained eye.

    Alright then, whatever this was, it was going to be at least amusing. Watching grown men get run around in circles by an animal always was. Nevin pushed away from his desk, closing his notebook and tucking it into the hidden alcove built under his chair. He didn't need anyone who might wander into his shop while he was out checking out this debacle to stumble upon it. This precaution was second nature to the man at this point - even if he was locking up his shop, he didn't want any of his secrets being spilled to random thieves.

    Nevin pulled back on his gloves - immensely glad none of the people pursuing the bird had looked in his window - and walked to the front of the shop, unlatching the door and slipping outside. He locked the door behind him and turned around, his dark eyes widening in surprise as he looked out at the street.

  2. #2
    Senior Member

    EXP: 40,810, Level: 8
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    Nevin's Avatar

    GP
    1,950
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    Name
    Nevin Aimaparapoiitis
    Location
    Corone
    The street outside Nevin’s shop was in chaos. People were running back and forth between buildings and between carts and cages that were scattered along the road, trying to capture and corral a staggering variety of animals. Birds were shrieking from rooftops, side by side a few small primates, sheep, goats, and ponies were trying to make breaks for it, charging and bowling over the unfortunate individuals who tried to get in their way. Nevin slowly looked back at his shop, wondering just how good the sound-proofing in his walls was that he had not realized the chaos going on out here until he was literally outside observing it.

    Several of the people involved in trying to catch the run-amok animals were wearing very similar clothes to each other - an identifying uniform. Nevin spotted one individual in the outfit who was currently stopped, bent over, and trying to catch his breath. The Alchemist strode over to the man, who looked up with a distinctly unhappy expression on his face.

    “We’re sorry about the disturbance sir, we’ll have the animals in hand in the near future, no need to concern yourself.”
    Nevin folded his arms across his chest, raising a crimson eyebrow as he stared at the man for a moment, then shrugged.

    “I was actually coming out here to ask just what had happened.” The man scowled at the question, and for a long moment the two stared at each other - Nevin, impassive with one eyebrow raised, the uniformed man glaring angrily. Eventually the stranger deflated and waved his hand in the direction where Nevin could hardly shouting about catching the bird still echoing.

    “It’s that Thayne be-damned bird we picked up a week ago. Ahem. We’re a traveling circus and menagerie, we take care of a variety of uncommon animals and show them off, trying to encourage people to travel by showing what's outside the borders of their little village. A week ago, one of our bird-spotters came back in with this big bird. Thought it was a crow or a raven at first but there's no way it's one of those, so we have no idea what it is.”
    The man’s scowl deepened.“No crow or raven I know of that is that large, and it certainly isn't an eagle. They also don't have that coloration, black with what looks like rust-colored tips to their wings.”

    Almost as if speaking of the bird summoned it, there was that black and red blur zipping into the torchlight of the crowd of frazzled men and women. Again Nevin heard that high, flute-like sound. It was like someone who was playing a set of pipes was giggling madly as they played. The bright, chiming notes zipped past, growing louder and then fading - though there was a moment of hesitation to the playing, like a sudden unexpected breath being taken. Then it was gone, as the men with the nets ran by, one of them clipping Nevin on the shoulder with the end of the long stick his net was attached to.

  3. #3
    Senior Member

    EXP: 40,810, Level: 8
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    Nevin's Avatar

    GP
    1,950
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    3
    Name
    Nevin Aimaparapoiitis
    Location
    Corone
    Nevin rubbed his shoulder and glared after the man that had bumped into him - the harried man had run off without even noticing the impact. A throat clearing from the menagerie man brought Nevin's attention back to bear on him. "As I was saying. That blasted bird is the cause of all of this. As soon as we got here to Stonevale, the thing started raising all kinds of hell. One of the new guys went to check on it, and the bird took off from its cage like a shot. Knocked the man over in the process. We started trying to catch it, didn't want it attacking anyone here in town. That's when it started unlocking other animals cages. Thankfully it didn't manage to get any of the dangerous animals free - that would be a nightmare." There was an amused trill of the flute-pipes above the talking men, and Nevin snapped his head upwards, his eyes narrowed, listening, before turning back to look to the man. There had been a message in that sound, but the man in front of him didn't seem to notice it. He in fact, didn't even seem to have heard the bird's call above his head, as he was giving Nevin a very strange glance.

    "I.. see." The man nodded curtly before turning as a goat charged at them, using his bulk to bodily stop the animal. Nevin's eyebrows rose as the man then proceeded to drag the goat away, ignoring its bleating protests as he pulled it over to a large cage on wheels that had a few other angry goats inside of it. The alchemist watched as the man threw the goat in, counted them rapidly, and slammed the cage door shut, locking it in place. He then proceeded to join the crowd of people that were trying to corral the other animals, leaving Nevin standing, bemused, in the street by himself. At least, alone until a large black and red-tinged shape shot down from the night sky and landed quite heavily on Nevin's shoulder.

    He staggered under the sudden weight, trying to correct his balance as the bird steadied itself on him, adjusting its grip - careful enough not to pierce through Nevin's clothing, for which he was extremely grateful. Once he wasn't focusing on trying not to fall over is when he heard an extremely excited trilling of a flute, a pattern of notes that repeated over and over again, directly in his ear. He turned to glare at the bird - and was almost entranced by the ruby-red eye that was sparkling back at him.

    "What on earth do you mean, you found me?" The corvid - and it was a corvid, even if an abnormally large one - just trilled that same set of notes again, then closed its eyes and started rubbing its beak along the top of its head. Nevin stood there, dumbfounded, as people slowly started to gather around him.

  4. #4
    Senior Member

    EXP: 40,810, Level: 8
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    Nevin's Avatar

    GP
    1,950
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    Name
    Nevin Aimaparapoiitis
    Location
    Corone
    “So, is...she yours, then?” There was a heavy note of suspicion to the man's voice – the same man who had been speaking to Nevin before, from what he could tell. At the words, several of the people who had been gathering around the Alchemist dispersed – as strange as this was, the fact that the other animals were still running loose was more of a problem than whether or not one of them had been someone's pet. The man that had spoken strode over to Nevin, his face purpling in anger as he glared at Nevin and the corvid that was still happily preening the top of the Alchemist's head.

    The redhead held up his hands placatingly, the gesture failing miserably as he tried to calm the man down. “No, no – I have not seen the bird before today sir. I don't know why she claims to have found me.” A small portion of the color drained out of the angry man's face as he stared at Nevin – and apparently decided to believe him.

    “The fuck do you mean you daft man – it's a bird. Look, give it here if she's not yours.” He reached out, trying to take the bird from Nevin's shoulder. This was rapidly revealed as a terrible decision; the bird's eyes snapped open and she flared her wings, snapping them open so suddenly Nevin felt a breeze on the back of his neck. The bird opened its beak and a loud, discordant note sounded out, a flute played in sheer rage.

    Even though Nevin's ears were ringing, none of the others seemed to notice. The man kept reaching before Nevin could warn him – and the corvid's beak flashed down, snapping shut with a resounding clack just in front of the man's fingers. The man snatched his hand back, holding it against his chest as he glared at the bird in shock and anger. The crow – or was it a raven, which was naturally bigger? - settled its wings back down, letting out a soft series of notes that sounded very smug to Nevin.

    “She, ah, says that she's found me and is not going to let anyone take her away from me.” The bird made a chuffing noise as it nodded imperiously, then twisted its neck down to nip affectionately at Nevin's ear. Nevin grimaced and gave a weak shrug as the man shifted his glare to him, unsure what to do about this.

    “Fine. Keep the ruddy thing. It wasn't really part of our show anyway, no clue where the damn thing belongs. Alright boys – let's get the rest of these guys back into their cages so the nice townsfolk can go back to their warm beds, no need for more excitement tonight.” Nevin frowned as the people around him melted away, heading back to trying to catch the other animals. He shot a glare at the happy bird, unamused by its antics.
    Last edited by Nevin; 10-10-2017 at 09:43 PM.

  5. #5
    Senior Member

    EXP: 40,810, Level: 8
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    Nevin's Avatar

    GP
    1,950
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    3
    Name
    Nevin Aimaparapoiitis
    Location
    Corone
    A few moments passed as Nevin made his way back to his shop, the corvid still happily perched on his shoulder, swaying back and forth slightly as he strode along the street to his front door. He unlatched it and quickly ducked inside after making sure that there was no one trying to follow close behind him, perhaps a member of the menagerie trying to get a little payback for the chaos that the bird had caused. There was no one though, and the amused bird ducked down in an impressive display of flexibility to avoid the doorframe. As soon as the door had closed behind them the bird swooped off of his shoulder, landing on the counter with a slight scrabbling of its claws, then turned around and watched as Nevin locked the door.

    “Now then. You. What are you? And why do you keep saying you found me – were you looking for me??” Nevin's tone was dark as he watched the bird at this point. There was no reason for anyone to be looking for him in a manner that led to them 'finding' him. Well. Maybe? He frowned and flicked his eyes across the glossy black feathers of the bird, the last half inch of each covered in a dark red hue. The man from the menagerie had called it 'rust' red, but to Nevin's eyes, even in this dark shop, he could tell that it was more accurate to call it the color of dried blood. Maybe this strange corvid was somehow a gift from Avis, or her.... disagreeable master?He couldn't remember all of the varied names that she had referred to him by, but they hadn't generally been positive. No, it wasn't likely that this came from him, but maybe she had sent him the bird as a reminder of their friendship and a gift? He'd have to send her – a long, drawn out series of pan-pipe flutes playing interrupted his thoughts smoothly, and he stared at the bird with a deepening frown.

    “You could sense the – What on earth is it with everything and its kin being able to sense me? Especially corvids?” This was ludicrous! Stare was the first person in years who had seen through him – and she had had the benefit of her ability seeing that his soul was horribly mangled – then there had been the incident with the cat woman in his shop, and now this! A bird had apparently detected him from a distance and had come looking for him! It took an immense straining of self-control for Nevin not to fly off the handle at the bird, which had tilted its head to one side, before trilling again. He looked up at it, and it trilled those flute notes again, ruffling its wings as it twisted its head to the other side, staring at him.

    “.....I will... give you the benefit of the doubt, for now. Your name was...?” The bird piped up a short series of notes, curious. “Names are how we identify each other.” A long, drawn out series of notes that made Nevin's brow scrunch up as he tried to keep track, finally leading him to cutting the bird off with a sharp shake of his head. “Look. I cannot use that in conversation to identify you or call for you.” A curious trill. “No, I can- wait.” Nevin's eyes widened.

    “How can I understand you?”

  6. #6
    Senior Member

    EXP: 40,810, Level: 8
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    Nevin's Avatar

    GP
    1,950
    AP
    3
    Name
    Nevin Aimaparapoiitis
    Location
    Corone
    The bird, still ‘nameless’, trilled happily at the blood mage, amused by his sudden realization. It flared its wings once while its chest rose and fell rapidly and Nevin realized the damned thing was laughing at him. He scowled and crossed his arms over his chest as he waited for the bird to respond. It seemed to know more about what was going on here than Nevin did, and was at least willing to answer his questions - that is, when it wasn't laughing its beak off at him.

    A few moments passed before the bird had seemed to catch its breath, and it closed its eyes as it chirped a happy note in his direction. Nevin frowned as the meaning came to him. “Bond?” Flutes. "The fledgling - don't make puns! - bond between us is letting me know what you want to say. Riiiight.” The bird began bobbing its head rapidly, trying to reinforce what it had told him. It trilled again, a flourish of pipes that seemed joyous. “Showing signs already? Wha-” The red on its feathers.

    If the blasted bird had already begun bonding to him, then of course it… Wait. Did that mean the bird’s innate magic had found his? “Did you only start looking for me after your feathers began to change color?” This seemed to be the case, as the bird shuffled on the counter, trying not to look on his direction for a moment. Then it played a sad, small set of notes, ducking its head down and making itself look as small as possible.

    “I…” Crimson take it this bird was tugging at his heart and it was working. “I'm not mad if that's the case. So you were following our bond to me, that’s what you really meant by you could sense my magic.” At least it didn't seem like the corvid had actually been sensing his blood magic, just his magic in general. The bird lifted its head up, looking hopeful. Nevin sighed and shook his head. “Alright, fine. We have something of a bond formed. And what, you want to make it better, more secure or something?” Long, slow notes that sped up for a few seconds once or twice filled the air, and Nevin’s eyebrows rose to his hairline.

    “You're not full grown? Really now.” That was a shock, the bird was already a fair bit larger than most corvids that Nevin knew of. A quick head bounce before another set of flute notes. “I see. I don't know what to make of it that your magic matched mine well enough to bond over a distance, but if your parents swear that's what happens normally anyway I can't really argue that fact. You won't get that much bigger, will you?” A head shake followed by reprimanding notes. “Don't take that tone with me young lady. My shop barely has room for me as it is, if you get too much bigger you won't be coming inside!” This seemed to distress the bird, as its claws began scratching at the wood beneath it - exactly like an upset child kicking their feet after being told something they didn't want to hear.

  7. #7
    Senior Member

    EXP: 40,810, Level: 8
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    Nevin's Avatar

    GP
    1,950
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    Name
    Nevin Aimaparapoiitis
    Location
    Corone
    Nevin stared at the clearly upset bird on his counter, and felt a headache forming behind his eyes. He reached up and pinched the bridge of his nose, counted to ten, and took a deep breath before opening his eyes again. The corvid had stopped in mid scuff and was staring at him with one ruby eye, and he felt certain that there was a hint of wateriness to that orb. A long hissing sigh escaped him and he shook his head.

    “I said if you got much bigger, not that you couldn't be in here now. I am certainly not about to put you back outside with a bunch of irritated and tired men who would probably quite happily make you lunch - why are you looking at me like that.” The red-tinged bird was now staring at him with what seemed to be unbridled joy gleaming in the eye he could see. Her head snapped forward - when had he started associating the bird with being female? - and Nevin barely had time to react as she launched herself from the wood, just barely avoiding crashing into anything.

    Anything, that is, aside from her target. Nevin had a half second of time to brace himself before the bird plowed into him, using its claws to grab ahold of his tunic and holding itself against his chest. He stood there, dumbfounded, as an energetic and triumphant flute played. It took a few moments for the happy animal to finally let go, flopping to the floor and barely catching herself. The proud corvid strutted back over to the counter and hopped up onto it, flapping her wings to keep her balance. Nevin had cautiously followed, trying to figure out just what it was that he had said or implied that had caused the joy in the bird in front of him.

    More joyful notes sounded out, and Nevin involuntarily reached out and started scratching the back of the bird’s head, watching as she closed her eyes and leaned into his fingers. Nevin sighed - apparently this bird had decided she was attached to him and not going anywhere without him or vice versa.

    The man sighed. He had no idea on what to do about raising a bird? Did she need to be trained? Hell what even was she, he couldn't just keep calling her ‘magical corvid’ that wasn't appropriate at all! Then he remembered something he had gotten distracted from earlier and pulled his hand away, studiously ignoring the sad look that she gave him when she opened her eyes.

    “I still need a name to call you. Something to identify you to other people and for me to say to get your attention.” A curious trill of flutes. “No I am not carrying a set of pan pipe flutes around to play that long identifier. People don't need to know your lineage back three generations every time I try to talk about you.” Sad flutes that perked up. “Alright. Alright. How about… Yes, I think Aphrael suits you quite well. What do you think?” The bird sat, staring at him for a long moment, then gave a cautious trill of her strange notes. She fluffed her wings once, and distinctly nodded.

    “Well alright then. Aphrael it is. Or Flute, since that's what you sound like. I'll probably use both, though.” Happy notes chimed in his ear as she peered at him.

  8. #8
    Senior Member

    EXP: 40,810, Level: 8
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    Nevin's Avatar

    GP
    1,950
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    Name
    Nevin Aimaparapoiitis
    Location
    Corone
    “Alright. If you're needing my magic to become my familiar, there's only one way I really know how to accomplish that. Come on, we’re heading downstairs.” Nevin gestured to his shoulder, and Aphrael hopped from the counter up onto his arm, letting out a small happy flourish of flute notes as she did so. Almost immediately she began preening Nevin’s hair, carefully running her beak through the short stubbly hair on top of his head as he turned and headed towards the hatch that would lead down into his basement.

    He fished the key to the lock out from under his shirt, where it was hanging on a small leather necklace, and knelt down to unlock the hatch. Aphrael’s claws tightened on his shoulder as Nevin dropped in height, though that and the fact that she stopped moving her beak along his head were the only signs of her sudden tension. Nevin reached up and stroked the side of her head before swinging the door up, revealing the ladder that led down into his workshop. To one side was the small pulley system that he used to move heavier loads up and down, currently empty.

    The red-tinged corvid hopped off of his shoulder and onto the small platform, trilling a question at the alchemist, who nodded slightly. She settled back and waited on the small wood plank as he climbed down the latter, her claws scratching lightly at the wood. When Nevin reached the bottom of the ladder he gently pulled on the rope, dragging the wooden platform down, Aphrael swaying back and forth with amused flute notes as the rope rolled along the pulley track. Shortly above Nevin’s head she dropped off the edge, gliding down to land back onto his shoulder with a pleased flourish.

    The secret blood mage shook his head slightly, exasperated at the bird. He was already learning that she was quite easily amused by nearly everything that he did, even though he personally didn't tend to be as… free to laugh joyously like she was. He actually felt like that wasn't a bad thing though, and hoped that the ritual he was planning wouldn't change her too much in the process.

    Into the chamber he went, pausing a moment on the threshold as the smell of blood washed over him. Even though he wasn't about to be draining the jug of lizard blood for another essence, having the fluid available to work with for other things was useful. And it still made the veins of blood on the surface of his skin sing softly as he drank in the smell. Nevin wasn't a vampire, but he had a strange predilection for the scent of blood, the coppery tang in the air, that he only rarely indulged in.

    A confused piping of flutes from his shoulder centered Nevin’s thoughts, bringing him back to the here and now. He reached up and almost lazily stroked the bird’s feathers as he walked into the room. Over to the low stone table he did his experimental Alchemy on, and one hand slowly clasped around the smooth handle of his knife. He tested the edge of the blade against one thumb, and nodded as it smoothly glided along his skin, peeling back a few layers of skin.

    Nevin shook his hand to dispel the slight sting from peeling off the top layers of skin and rotated his head around to stare into the ruby-red eye that Aphrael had fixed him with. “My magic works via blood. If you need it to complete the bond -” an energetic trill of flutes, firm and confident, “-then I will have to give you some. As I don't think you'd enjoy cooled lizard blood - and I would not force you to imbibe such - instead, you are going to have some of mine.”

  9. #9
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    EXP: 40,810, Level: 8
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    Nevin's Avatar

    GP
    1,950
    AP
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    Name
    Nevin Aimaparapoiitis
    Location
    Corone
    Aphrael watched quietly as Nevin sorted through the bottles in the basement, holding his sharp knife loosely in one hand as he picked some up and set them back down. The bird wasn't sure what her human was doing right now, but he had said he would be finishing the bond and that made the corvid happy. When Nevin held up a small bottle triumphantly, she puffed her chest out and let out a happy trill of notes to help celebrate his success.

    Nevin turned back to look at the red-tinged bird and took a deep breath. He knew what he needed to do now, the best way to give Aphrael some of his magic that she claimed she needed to solidify the bond between them fully. He just… Hadn’t anticipated needing to use this on a living being, ever. In fact if the bird wasn't so certain that she had to take in his magic, he would have thought that there would be a deleterious reaction to it.

    Still. She was sure, had apparently been told it by her parents many times, and was now staring at him in eagerly from her perch on his work table. He held the small, one ounce sized glass vial carefully in his hand and walked back to the table. The glass made a soft tink as it touched the table, and Nevin stared at it quietly for a moment before taking a deep breath.

    He moved before the bird could see what he was doing, raising his empty hand above the vial and stabbing the blade into his palm, driving straight into the flesh. Nevin hissed in pain as he pulled the sharp blade free, and bright crimson blood welled up in his hand. The blood mage flipped his hand over and pressed the open wound against the mouth of the vial as the red lines on his hands lit up brilliantly. As soon as he had cut his hand his magic had begun to sing, eager and anticipatory for what was to come.

    Sanguine… Nevin. The words fell in a breathless whisper from trembling lips. This was the first time he was doing this after making sure it wasn't an insane idea - he was not capturing an aspect here, but the essence of himself, the core of who he was. Useless for almost all alchemical endeavors, he had a few ideas on how it could be used - namely, in binding something to the person whose was used.

    He felt a pull, a tugging, draining sensation, on both his magic and on his hand as blood was drained from his body to fuel the blood Alchemy. It was a decidedly strange sensation, and one he didn't know if he would ever care to repeat. But it was done soon enough, leaving him feeling drained and weak as he slowly lifted up the vial, now glowing a majestic, rich crimson. His hand shook slightly as he held it up towards Aphrael.

    “You'll need to drink this, dear.”

  10. #10
    Senior Member

    EXP: 40,810, Level: 8
    Level completed: 65%, EXP required for next Level: 3,190
    Level completed: 65%,
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    Nevin's Avatar

    GP
    1,950
    AP
    3
    Name
    Nevin Aimaparapoiitis
    Location
    Corone
    It took a few moments to get Aphrael to actually drink the magicked blood. Not because the corvid was suddenly squeamish about it, but rather trying to figure out how to get her to drink it comfortably. She kept wanting to try holding the vial in one edge of her beak, but each time she tried Nevin had to catch it to prevent it from falling to the floor. Finally the blood mage told her to just open her beak, and poured the crimson fluid into her mouth. A slight shiver ran along the bird’s form as the blood flowed down her throat, and then she went silent and still.

    A full body twitch shot through her, making her feathers stand out in an unnatural way, and Nevin took a step back, frowning. If his attempt at finalizing their bond had failed, or worse, had hurt her… He frowned as he noticed something strange. It had been subtle at first, a small change that could pass by unseen if it hadn't kept progressing further and further.

    The tinge of red that had been on the very ends of her feathers was now spreading upwards along the glossy black, like a spreading stain. It also wasn't happening to all of the feathers at once - Nevin had missed it at first because it seemed like it was expanding geometrically - it had started at one feather and began creeping outwards, infecting more and more as time progressed. The man followed the chain of feathers that had ‘slowed down’ in their change - he thought it had stopped but wasn't sure yet - back to a feather that was directly over Aphrael’s heart.

    This feather apparently had stopped changing, despite the fact that the scarlet stain was still spreading outwards. Red had spread halfway across it, and up at the very edge where the two shades met, was a darker red line, like a fresh scar. It was… disconcerting to say the least, but it didn’t seem to have affected anything beyond the color of the feathers. Aphrael herself was still recovering, her body shivering repeatedly as she her body adjusted to the influx of Nevin’s magic. The half-way mark was the furthest the red spread along her feathers - and the further from her heart that the feather was, the less had been stained crimson.

    Nevin reached out and brushed his fingertips against the bird and she shook herself and looked at his hand, then up to his face, and let out a pleased little trill. He could feel her now, in a strange way, like a source of simple happiness sitting in the back of his head that he couldn’t shake. As he focused on that feeling, it swelled into a distracting joy as Aphrael spread her wings and her notes rose into a triumphant flourish. He couldn’t help himself, and let out a small laugh at the sensation. It settled back down into a calmer pleasure as the corvid twisted her head down and nipped at his fingers, then twisted her head back towards the platform and ladder.

    “Yes, I suppose we don’t need to be stuck underground any longer. Go on then, to the platform, I’ll raise it.” Nevin still had a happy smile on his lips - it would take some time to adjust to the fact that he could apparently feel her emotions bubbling in the back of his...head. It was one of the more unique sensations he had ever encountered, though something about the strange way it was disconnected, the feelings not his own which he could actually detect, was oddly familiar. Why, he couldn’t place, but it wasn’t a concern for now - for now, he would need to get the bird settled, and see about purchasing a perch for her to rest on while he was working - he couldn’t always have her sitting on the counter or on a display stand, after all.

    Up the two went, back up the ladder to the main floor of the shop, and Nevin locked the hatch back shut behind them. The two quickly retired to the bedroom, Aphrael riding along on Nevin’s shoulder, then winging over to the foot of the bed. She promptly tucked her head under one wing and was fast asleep almost before Nevin had even finished shutting the door behind him. He stared at her for a moment, and prodded the connection between them - it was now quiescient, laying as dormant as the being on the other end. He shook his head.

    “This… is going to take some getting used to.”

    ~Fin~

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