World’s First Heartless Human 👱
To know more just click the below link. 👇
Don't forget to follow my page.. 🙏
World’s First Heartless Human 👱
To know more just click the below link. 👇
Don't forget to follow my page.. 🙏
Man...those tiny umbrellas are pretty cute, and I want one. Sadly, I don’t drink, and just putting them in water glasses wouldn’t feel the same T_T
earlier today my niece dropped one of her toys and it rolled under the fridge and my cat fished it out and left it for her where she'd find it
It’s not him...
If you need to catch up, you can read all of chapter one along with chapter two in chronological order right here: https://roseyblogstuff.tumblr.com/tagged/Heartless+au/chrono
Happy Holidays everyone!
Chapter 2 starting...
If you need to catch up on chapter one, here is a link to it, all in chronological order: https://roseyblogstuff.tumblr.com/tagged/Heartless-ch-1/chrono
Happy Valentine’s day everyone!
Sorry, the next update to the Tweek’s Monster Hotel comic will be delayed since I need a bit of a mental break for myself atm, but I’ll be sure to have it up next week. For now, enjoy this valentine’s images of all three of my comic AUs. Have a wonderful valentine’s day, folks!
anyone who hates kyle’s human kite outfit is wrong and they’re invalid. his costume is adorable and if you disagree you’re a fake kyle fan sorry i don’t make the rules i just enforce them
Random back on my unova bs ramble/headcanon:
The other day Colress said this to me when I refused to fight him a second time after he destroyed my team while I was trying to level grind a zweilous. My immediate reaction was ‘aaa I’m sorry I didn’t mean it I just need to heal!! D:’ But it also struck me as out of character because Colress, 1- doesn’t seem like the type to be easily emotionally affected, and 2-Isn’t really one to judge kindness/morality and knows it, he never claims he’s a kind person or tries to conceal the fact that he’s doing things for science above all else. And so my voice of reason went “of course Colress wouldn’t think that you idiot, he’s messing with you!” Which lead to me reading the interaction like this:
-He’s being sacarstic. He knows you were the one who surfed all the way out to this obscure lab location while he was chilling on the plasma frigate and says “but I went through all this trouble to get here!” He knows he almost swept your team and goes “You won’t battle me again right away without healing?? So rude!”
-He would be very amused if you actually took him seriously, he’d watch you get flustered and desperately explain that you need to heal with a smirk and say something like “Calm down, I was just joking. Really (player name), I thought you knew better than this!”
-Maybe even “Come on, have I ever claimed to know anything about kindness?” Maybe even “You could only be described as unkind by someone who wasn’t paying any attention.” (Referring to you being the hero who stopped Ghetsis, and bringing out your pokémon’s potential through love and friendship)
-Reading it like this further solidifies my personal take on Colress that while he may be all about science and not the most caring/empathetic, he’s not one of those ‘cold emotionless scientist with no sense of humor’ types. He’d never show hostility without a logical reason, and he rarely has a logical reason. He’ll be friendly with you, he’ll joke with you then reassure you he didn’t mean it- not necessarily out of concern for your feelings but out of plain old respect and decency cause that’s just how he rolls.
This is so beautiful. I might cry.
I remember that dog, a la Mavis' old golden lab too, and how a dog can be more loyal to you, than a person in some cases too 😉
Mavis' Bud E, you should have shot goof RE 😂
Clue: Apartment 107, number seven lucky, but seems a bit yang if you ask me
Dark green walls, symbolic to Scorpio node of Sharon and Goof RE: Envy
We have a heart that can never be touched by he, and who's heart and soul beautiful? Mavis' Finley, who never wanted in the first place goof RE, and you end up married years later to old hag nag SE, when you love shallowly
And after all of your failed attempts with C, M, and A? Don't try for time three, you will not like angry heartless dark angel C, and I ain't fond of abusive goof RE 👍
Don't touch or come near me.. As for Deano Malfoy and SE? You SP #+ C wannabes, as is the case with ya USA telephony lol
The end is upon us. Endless waves of heartless machines strike at the castle walls in the besieged kingdom of Yggdra. Knowing nothing of the nature of their enemies, a small group of knights attempt to rescue as many of their fellow citizens as they possibly can against impossible odds. You play as Wolf, the group’s newly appointed leader. The castle falls in 24 hours. Welcome to the bright and cheery world of Saigo no Yakusoku no Monogatari! No pressure!
Released by now-defunct developer Imageepoch in 2011, SYM is one of the darkest RPGs I've ever had the pleasure to play. The game is dripping with a pounding sense of urgency and lurking horror, and features plenty of twists that had me genuinely disturbed. SYM is not afraid to kill off important characters, depict the worst of humanity, and, worst of all, features a harsh time limit: in this game, each quest completed advances an in-game clock which acts as a trigger to move the plot forward. The quests are similar to those you would find in an MMORPG: you're typically asked to go out into the ruined castle and rescue stranded citizens, and these usually end in a challenging encounter with a mechanized monstrosity.
And SYM’s combat is intense. As you progress through each chapter, the enemies you’ll contend with keep their pace with your party, meaning that you cannot rest on your laurels and mash the X button. You'll be buffing, debuffing, hitting elemental weaknesses, and managing a "hate" system, which is a feature found (again) in MMORPGs. Certain actions, such as healing and using AOE spells, will draw the ire of the enemy group, which can be deadly. Only the main character possesses abilities that can draw hate, so you'll be heavily reliant on him to manipulate the flow of battle. Thankfully, SYM gives him a variety of options to do so: one skill will have him act before the rest of the party, while another will activate after everyone's taken their turn. It's up to you to utilize him well, because if you don't, well..Welcome to the SP system!
Your party members have your normal HP and MP gauges, but each character, a bit like the Romancing SaGa series, has a separate stat called "Spirit Points." Each character starts off with a predetermined amount, and every time they're knocked out, they lose a handful of SP. The caveat is that there is only one way to restore SP, and once it is gone, they're dead. Forever. SYM is one of the few character-driven JRPGs to feature permadeath. You might think that, should a character be knocked out, the enemies will then turn their attention on your remaining members, but this is not the case. Your foes will relentlessly beat on your fallen comrade, knocking down their SP even further. In one disastrous battle early-game, my favorite character, Mallarme, lost nearly 20 SP in one go. Ouch.
You might be thinking, "But Danny! You said there's a way to restore SP! It can't be that bad!" but nah: in order to restore SP to a party member, another has to die. SYM's story is heavy on themes of sacrifice and carrying on despite inevitable odds, and I think it is a stroke of brilliance that Imageepoch managed to marry its story themes with gameplay. If you want everyone to survive, you're going to have to carefully switch characters out, all the while considering each member's strengths and weaknesses. Make the wrong choice, and they will die.
And the game doesn't make it easy: there's a slight experience modifier to help underleveled allies, but characters still level separately, making keeping everyone up to speed a chore. Every knight has a variety of skills, with some more specialized than others, but they're all pretty viable with the exception of Celes. I could not figure how to use her effectively: her magic attacks barely do any damage, and her buffing skills all come with certain drawbacks - mainly: they draw huge amounts of hate. Plus, should she or Wolf die for good, it's game over.
Each Messiah Knight also has access to certain techniques that consume SP instead of MP. These are essentially win buttons, doing massive amounts of damage, and have cool portrait cut-ins similar to all-out attacks in the Persona series. Theoretically, should you have trouble with the bosses, you could just spam these with characters you don't care about, but it is much more satisfying to win with the other tools the game provides you.
Personally, I chose to not use my favorite characters, and went with a “B Squad” of sorts for the majority of the game. It feels like SYM almost discourages you from using your favorites, as any mishap in battle can potentially cost you a great deal of SP damage. My plan was to push the “B Squad” characters to the grave, so that I could then finish the game with my favorites later. It felt cruel. I loved it.
Certain quests allow you to grow closer to the character of your choice, but these skits are disappointingly short and, as of this writing, shallow. In fact, the entire game could have used more fat in the story department. SYM has such an unique setting and atmosphere. You're not travelling the world or trying to kill God: you're a knight trapped in a ruined castle trying to save his people. I think RPGs that take on a more limited scope have a lot more opportunity to really breathe life into their settings, but SYM doesn't succeed in doing so.
The level designs are repetitive: with few exceptions, you'll spend the majority of the game traversing hallways peppered with the occasional treasure chest. If you're familiar with Persona 3, this shouldn't bother you too much, and I didn't mind it as a fan of Tartarus, but those looking for a more streamlined experience should look elsewhere. Enemy design is well-done, but I would have liked a bit more variety. There are a lot of palette swaps. In contrast, the end-of-chapter bosses are terrifying and super badass.
Overall, the themes presented in SYM are done much better in later Imageepoch titles, such as 7th Dragon: 2020, but the unique, desperate atmosphere present in this title makes it worth checking out. The game can be unbearably tedious at times, but unlike many JRPGS, SYM maintains a level of tension that never leaves the player. The constant threat of death and unrelenting melodrama makes it stand out amongst its peers. If Imageepoch’s budget for this title was just a little bigger, it could have been truly great, but its limitations hold it back. That being said, SYM does enough right that its still very much worth playing!
How JC stans fail to understand their favorite’s true character.
This is a comment made by a JC stan on a fic I recently stumbled across and I’m going to go full rant mode and point out the lack of comprehension understanding they seem to have. And if you’re a JC stan, then back off. This post isn’t for you.
“I love Wen Qing and I do understand her bitterness toward Jiang Chen, but at the same time, JC was also kept in the dark about WWX's true motives. The man went in blind and came out with tightly sealed lips. Who knows, maybe JC would've hated WWX for doing the transplant without his consent. Keep in mind that the Jiang parents did treat their kids (esp. the sons) pretty horribly, JC did have an inferiority complex and almost rightly so because of how all his achievements were undervalued, the Lotus Pier fell alongside his parents, WWX never seemed to keep his mouth shut despite the weight his words carried as the Head Disciple of Yunmeng Jiang”
First of all, WWX wasn’t spouting bullshit. What he was stating were facts. Blatant, real facts. Calling out to the sect leaders to understand JGSS’s true motives. We all know JGS is one slimy, greedy bastard who wanted the seal all for himself. He wasn’t even subtle about it.
WWX is smart. He knows that if the Stygian Tiger Amulet were to fall in the hands of someone like JGS, chaos would follow. They don’t need another Sunshot Campaign. One is already enough.
“Who knows, maybe JC would've hated WWX for doing the transplant without his consent.”
JC already had a deep-rooted dislike for WWX, stemmed from his mother’s constant comparing of him to WWX. Any accomplishment WWX achieved made JC deeply jealous and he would sulk and mop about like a child. And do you know what?
Many times WWX had to undermine his talents and let JC win the contests just to please his shitty ego. It does not help that WWX was always whipped by YZY just for being better than her son. Why? Because WWX is a once-in-a-lifetime born prodigy whose father, despite serving the Jiang sect, was no rookie, and his mother was the disciple of the great Baoshan Sanren.
Let’s not forget JC’s reaction to the GC reveal. What did he do upon finding out that all these years all he was able to come so far was because of WWX’s strong core. And he wasn’t very pleased about it. His reaction at the Ancestral Hall and the Guanyin temple is a final nail on the coffin.
then he went missing and came back a demonic cultivator who seemed to have thrown away his family for the Wens of all people and refused to explain exactly why, then Jin Zixuan died because of him and Jiang Yanli died to save him, he had to raise Jin Ling now, act as the Jiang sect leader, likely get manipulated by the sect leaders around him, and Wei Wuxian still didn't come back to Jiang Chen. He had a lot happen to him in an environment where he couldn't properly grieve because there was a war going on, then he had to establish his authority and in his perspective, WWX was still stirring things up without explaining anything. After that, well it was easier to be bitter than it was to openly grieve WWX because then he'd remember the man as his sworn brother, not just the demon whose actions contributed to JC's ruin, but family who he had in his grief and instability killed instead of mourned. JC for all his vices, did protect WWX whenever he could, grumbling all the way while at it, like running non-stop for a week (?) or so to return with reinforcements with WangXian were stuck with the Xuanyu (sp?) of Slaughter, giving himself up for the Wens to protect WWX, his actions afterward when WWX became the Yiling Laozu. His words were cruel at times, but he is a realistic character with flaws, and his actions were much better at proving his love for WWX.
This entire paragraph is something to be laughed at. WWX threw away his family for the Wens? Are you fucking kidding me?! WWX never abandoned the Jiangs. Till his last dying breath during his first life, his loyalty remained towards them. WWX was repaying a debt, something that JC selfishly took without showing an ounce of gratitude towards WQ and WN, who had both risked their lives and positions to hide them away from WC and his entourage. And you say that WWX left poor baby JC to build a happy life with a bunch of old and elderly plus one toddler on a corpse mountain full of resentment and death stinking in the air?
What has WWX not done for your JC? He sacrificed his GC for JC (whom you all love refering to as WWX’s bro and the best sib to ever exist), was thrown into a hellish nightmare known as the Burial Mounds, had to suffer the cultivation world’s hypocrisy and them constantly calling him ‘son of a servant’, YZY berating his dead mother and spitting on her name with nothing but vitriolic insults, his only family backstabbed him and ratted him out to the wolves. Oh yeah, how much trouble WWX causes, no?
JGS is good at manipulation, yes. But what he said about WWX wanting to overthrow the Jiangs is nonsense and JC, being the fool he is, easily falls for the trap. Even when it’s plain obvious that WWX has never tried so much as to kick JC out of his sect leader position.
WWX: Go tell the others that I defected from the YunmnegJiang Sect. Any and all problems relating to me will have nothing to do with the Jiang sect.
JC: Wei Wuxian has defected from the Jiang sect and has declared himself the enemy of the cultivation world.
This isn’t JC being manipulated by JGS. This is JC paving an easy road for the Jins to turn the tides in their favor.
“then Jin Zixuan died because of him and Jiang Yanli died to save him, he had to raise Jin Ling now”
JZX’s death was not entirely WWX’s fault. Yes, he lost control, but who instigated the attack first? Who was it that, despite the warning, still decided to approach a cornered animal and get labelled as a threat? Of course it’s JZX! And then there’s JYL, who jumped in to take the sword that was meant for WWX. How did he kill her then?
And for the love of MXTX, JL was raised in Koi Tower, never in Lotus Pier. He would sometimes accompany JC and the Jiang disciples on a night-hunt. But Koi tower is his birthplace. He is the heir and the one to take care of him will be the maids working for the Jin sect. Not JC.
“After that, well it was easier to be bitter than it was to openly grieve WWX because then he'd remember the man as his sworn brother, not just the demon whose actions contributed to JC's ruin, but family who he had in his grief and instability killed instead of mourned.”
Oh! Oh wow! This shit right here, it’s such an ironic statement coming from someone who has zero understanding of the novel and instead wishes to have their fav be the victim here.
WWX ruined JC’s life? Un-fucking-believable. JC ruined his own life, he blackened his reputation by being a mass murderer and a douchebag, he harassed WWX and gaslighted him so many times that WWX finally got fed up of him and decided You know what? I am done with you and your BS. I gave you so many opportunities to have me again by your side and you keep throwing them out. I’m human too and I have my limits. I’m not some tool you can use and dispose off as you please. So ya goodbye.”
And the last part. Oh yes, WWX was such a heartless bastard, no? When in reality, mourned for the Jiangs and held those regrets with himself even post-canon. He knows by now that whatever transpired in his first life was not entirely his fault, but the damage has been done. And deep down, YZY’s words still have a very heavy impact on him, no matter how beautiful his second life is.
“JC for all his vices, did protect WWX whenever he could, grumbling all the way while at it, like running non-stop for a week (?) or so to return with reinforcements with WangXian were stuck with the Xuanyu (sp?) of Slaughter”
JC never protected WWX. Aside from the dogs during their childhood, he never stood up for him. Not from the ugly shit and backbiting the cultivators spewed about him, not from the last verbal abuse YZY spat at him, and esp. when he used his cynophobia against him to torture and get information about him.
JC marched all the way to Lotus Pier for one week just to get help from his sect. What about WWX and LWJ? Those 2 were trapped in a cave with low spiritual energy, serious wounds that did not get immediate treatment, and lack of food and the water was unfit for drinking, plus an ancient beast ready to devour them and outside the Wen cultivators were surrounding the entrance. They had to take down the Xuanwu with whatever resources and weapons their hands could get onto, and their brain.
Compared to Wangxian, JC’s situation is less life-threatening. Not to mention he had the Jiang disciples at his back, ready to defend him and fight off enemies.
“giving himself up for the Wens to protect WWX, his actions afterward when WWX became the Yiling Laozu.”
JC gave up his GC for WWX, knowing the consequences fully and later he fully regretted it. He started having suicidal tendencies and for him, living life become meaningless. And besides, JC acted at that moment purely out of instinct. And I’m sure that him choking WWX and blaming him for the LP’s fall moments prior does not excuse this one good deed.
“His words were cruel at times, but he is a realistic character with flaws, and his actions were much better at proving his love for WWX.”
Love- the most beautiful emotion in this world, one that keeps two or more people together, helps them to build resilience and shoulder a burden together. It’s unconditional, one where the other party knows the consequences and is still willing to take the risks, if it means the other one gets to be happy and devoid of suffering.
JC’s love for WWX is downright toxic and abusive, filled to the brim with one-sided promises, jealousy, gaslighting, guilt-tripping and one-sided affection (from WWX’s side). If you mean to tell me that killing your childhood best friend, turning your back against him, trying to kill and torturing him in the most painful way possible, chasing after his shadow for 13 years and killing anyone who follows his path or reminds you of him, is love, then I don’t know what I should name this newly discovered emotion as.
The novel may be narrated in 3rd person but its narrative is from WWX's ultimately biased perspective. It didn't do well to convey the turmoil JC suffered, because well, it was told from WWX's perspective and the Yunmeng bros never really talked out their history, choosing to repress their emotions like a bunch of idiots instead (*sobs*). Lan Zhan also became far more indulgent when it came to WWX because he had lost the man for 13 years so it was to be expected, and he never had the full story about JC instead choosing to judge him of his actions when they interacted which were quite truthfully, pretty terrible. Lan Zhan bases his dislike of what he already holds against Jiang Chen and has only had interactions that validated those opinions. Acceptable ofc, but ultimately irrelevant when it comes down to judging whether JC was good or not.
LWJ isn’t a shallow person. He might get jealous easily, but hate is a strong word that rarely applies to him. LWJ is often polite and a gentleman, helping those in need without asking for favors. He never held it against his sect for leading a siege against WWX, he never felt any hate towards his brother and uncle. Even when WWX flirted with LQY, and despite his jealously, LWJ stood up for her alongside JZX, against the injustice she was facing from WC and WLJ.
But anyone who hurts his beloved ones, esp. WWX, LWJ has no need to express kindness towards them. JC fits in that category as LWJ knows that JC lead the siege against his love, and continued to torture demonic cultivators in hopes of finding WWX. LWJ isn’t stupid to not be able to distinguish between a man driven by rage and madness to a man grieving for his brother.
Even in discussion conferences, JC never spoke well about WWX. What makes you think that LWJ will be anything but hostile towards JC?
And to matters worse, JC attacks WWX even when the latter was suffering from Qi Deviation. At Guanyin temple, JC’s behavior reaches a height and it even shocks WWX. Give me one good reason as to why LWJ will be friendly towards JC. Just one good, logical reason.
Do you really think that JC was the only one who suffered? What about WWX nd JYL? JYL lost her parents too. Why does no one address this?
What about the fact that JC’s parents hugged him and berated WWX (YZY) and told him to protect JC at all costs without even saying ‘take care’ to WWX? (JFM)
As much as I love Wen Qing, I must disagree with the sentiment that JC brought ruin to WWX, there was almost never an instance that happened except for perhaps the 1st siege, whereas WWX himself was arguably the person who brought quite a lot of ruin to himself by being so open with his dislike and distaste that he made some very powerful, political allies. I'm not victim blaming, but WWX's refusal to keep his mouth shut at the most inappropriate moments, yet hiding his intentions and reasoning from everyone did make things difficult for him.
Again with the WWX bringing ruin to JC. No. Nope. WWX has every reason to hide the fact that his golden core is missing. It’s a weakness everyone will take advantage of, and his vulnerability will be exposed. Not to mention post-SSC, he is viewed as a threat by many. It makes zero sense for a cornered animal to openly reveal his weaknesses and let the hungry wolves devour him whole. Use your logic.
“Disliking JC is valid, but calling him selfish and a terrible brother is ignoring all the context between the two, and simply running with one-man narrative the novel presented instead of questioning the MC for even a moment. I'm not criticizing Wen Qing here because she doesn't know JC at all, so she's in no true position to judge him, but instead presenting an explanation to all JC haters.”
We aren’t calling him selfish and a terrible brother for no reason. JC haters aren’t arrogant. We are free to love/hate him. The novel isn’t just from WWX’s perspective. It goes into the heads of other characters as well many times. It’s just that WWX is the protag here.
And like LWJ, WQ also has every reason to hate him. Let’s not forget that in CQL she was JC’s love interest. He gave her a comb, with the promise of protection and sanctuary. And when she does go to him for help, JC is like: “I will help you and save you. But for that to happen you must abandon your family and leave them to die. Only then I will make you the new madam of LP.”
If you start arguing that WQ should have left her family to die, then that’s a shallow argument and paints a terrible picture on WQ as a character.
WQ has every reason to hate JC, canon or not. For her, WWX is family and like a little brother to her. He gave up his core willingly and cultivated a darker path, JC organized a stage-fight and stabbed WWX in the stomach so badly that his guts literally came spilling out.
Would you not be angry on behalf of someone you care about being stabbed to almost-death? Tell me if I’m not wrong.
part twenty-six of the precanon chronicles (emotion by mia rodriguez)
want to start from the beginning?
continue to the next part?
fandom: the arcana
word count: 1874
warning: language, violence, brief gore, mentions of death
Julian whirled around to confirm that he wasn’t hearing things. Asra Alnazar was, indeed, standing a few paces away, hands outstretched to hold a set of fingers that wasn’t there. His soft eyes had hardened into a venomous glare, soft lips stretched back from his gums. “Asra, he-- he wasn’t--” Julian began, but Asra spoke over him.
“My day hasn’t been going well. If you don’t have a good excuse for your behavior, I’ll be forced to take out my frustrations on you, starting with your thumb and moving onto your fingers.” Asra fondled along one of the invisible fingers in middair, and Martzel squeaked. “I do hope,” Asra continued, a cruel sneer curling his mouth, “you are not right handed.”
“He wasn’t hurting me!” Julian burst out.
Asra met his eyes for the first time as though he only just realized Julian was there. “Ilya,” he murmured.
“He just-- he was frust-trated with me. He didn’t hurt me, he didn’t even t-touch me, I swear! Asra, this isn’t like you!”
“Oh. I-- oh.” Asra dropped to his knees. His anger melted away into abject terror. Both hands fell from the air, quivering and careful, reaching for Julian’s face. “Oh, I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I promised you that I wouldn’t-- Lucio got in my head like he always does, I never meant--”
Julian flinched away from his touch. Asra’s face fell even more. “Fix him,” he croaked.
“Fix him, now. Do magic.”
Grey eyes met violet. Asra’s snowy lashes sparkled with the beginnings of tears. “Yes, Ilya,” he whispered.
He turned to Martzel, who also visibly winced when Asra’s hands ghosted over his wrists, which righted themselves with more popping noises and occasional gasps from Martzel. When they were back in place, Martzel flexed his fingers a few times before shoving Asra away. “Damn you,” he hissed.
“I’m sorry,” Asra mumbled.
“Sorry for what?” Martzel spat. “I’m n-not the one you should apologize to!”
Asra’s shoulders tensed. “What… do you…”
Martzel stood up. Now that he towered over the other two, he regained some courage. “You have been dabbling in black magic. If I were you, I would make a hundred apologies, starting with Julian Devorak.”
“Mr. Morell,” Julian groaned, burying his face in his palms, “not now, please not now…”
“If not now, when? After Asra has already connected Lucio to the most dangerous being in the universe? After he ropes you into twenty more fruitless attempts to bring back--” Understanding dawned bright as the sun on Martzel’s face. He met Asra’s frightened eyes with an incredulous frown. “How could I miss it? You’ve gone through all this trouble just so you could--”
“I gave up on the rituals,” Asra interrupted quickly. “I didn’t want Ilya to get hurt.”
“So you used his body along with yours as an anchor that you knew would catch the attention of the major Arcana? Do you have any idea how dangerous that was or do you simply not care about Julian’s safety?”
At this, Asra bristled. “The Arcana are not bloodthirsty monsters, Mr. Morell, and it’s very small-minded of you to say so. For your information, I want Ilya safe just as much as you do, if not more.”
“Then act like it!” Martzel roared. He let out his frustration in a kick to the side of the desk. “Not to mention Calamity Crow! You must have filled her head with fantasies about raising the dead!”
“What? What are you--”
“She got the idea from you, did she not?”
“What idea?” Julian asked, and Asra tried to shush Martzel, but he continued on ruthlessly, landing every word like the blows of a sword.
“You may be incredibly talented, but neither of you can or should bring Aro Slattery back to life,” he bellowed.
Julian shuddered. He looked to Asra, and he didn’t even have to ask why the color had drained from his face. Martzel had hit the nail on the head and the resounding impact prickled the air. “Was this... all for him?” Julian whispered. Time stood still in that library as the world crumbled around him. He was plummeting through the air through an endless black hole and nobody bothered to slow his fall. “Asra, d-do you-- do you still love him?”
Asra sat frozen as a rabbit under the eyes of a pair of hawks. “How do you know?” he asked. “How-- I never--”
“I know that Aro left you to work for Lucio,” Julian said, and his voice rose with either bravery or anger or something darker with each word. “I know that you tried to send Calamity Crow to bring him home. I know that you left Vesuvia when you didn’t get your way and I know that Aro was dead by the time you came back.”
Asra’s horrified gaze flicked from Martzel to Julian and back again. “Please,” he breathed.
But Julian got to his feet. He relished Asra on the ground, spread open and exposed, after what felt like a lifetime of secrecy. “Do you blame yourself for what happened? Or is it your envy that drives you? You tried to turn me against Mr. Morell for a reason, after all. I doubt you would have talked so much behind his back if Aro hadn’t fucked him first.”
The magician bowed his head and clenched his fists in his lap.
How many times had Julian knelt at Asra’s feet just like this? How could he keep himself from standing triumphant at his own victory against the odds? “You’ve loved him all this time, haven’t you? Haven’t you, witch?” Julian demanded. “That’s why you wanted to keep me out of your bedroom! You were waiting for him to come back, and I-- I was a fucking toy to keep your mind off him!”
“Oh, Ilya, please-- please I never meant-- I didn’t want you to--”
“I knew you didn’t care but I never thought you would use me to bring a dead man into your bed! I was a fool to think you could change, to-- to wait for you, as if you ever deserved my pity! You slimy, back-stabbing, two-faced, heartless--” He cut himself off when Martzel clapped a firm hand over his shoulder.
“Dr. Devorak, I think that’s enough,” he murmured. “I think he… got the message.”
Julian blinked. Asra had lowered himself to the floor, all but grovelling at Julian’s boots, quivering so much that his convulsions were visible from six feet up in the air. Any white-hot fury that permeated Julian’s body was doused in icy shame. “Right,” he whispered.
Martzel glanced at Julian as he stooped down to Asra’s level. “Mx. Alnazar… we need to know if you’re planning to continue these rituals.”
Without raising his head, Asra shook his head at the floor.
“Do you swear?”
Somehow Asra curled into himself even more. “Upon my parents’ graves,” he sniffled.
Martzel met Julian’s gaze, who nodded. “Alright. We believe you,” Martzel assured him. “Have you instructed Calamity Crow in her own rituals?”
“I haven’t sp-spoken to her since Aro-- since Aro--”
“Why?” Julian interrupted before Aro’s name could make its way out of Asra’s mouth again.
“She… she was angry at me f-for leaving. Said it was all my-my fault. I don’t know anything about what she’s been doing, I promise.”
Sharp pain shot through Julian’s heart. His arms ached to wrap around Asra’s fragile body so he stilled the impulse by crossing them over his chest. “Did you agree to help Lucio contact the Devil?” he asked.
Asra inched forward. “Yes, because I’ll protect you.”
Julian sucked a breath between his teeth as he felt Asra’s lips press to the tip of his boot. He recalled so vividly a time when he longed to kiss Asra’s boots, to be ground into the floor by an unforgiving heel, and this sudden switch made his stomach flip over.
“I tried to warn you about Lucio. I was afraid this might happen.” Another kiss followed, closer to Julian’s heel than the first. “I told you I would keep you safe, lover, and I--”
“Don’t,” Julian wheezed.
“You c-can’t call me that.”
Asra hesitated, then ran his fingers along the soft leather of the insole, connecting his temple with Julian’s shin. “Okay,” he whispered.
Oh no. Oh no no no. Julian shot Martzel a desperate look, and Martzel didn’t miss a beat. “Lucio-- ahem. What does the Count want from the Devil?” Martzel said.
“He wants a new body. I swore to be with him during the ritual, to… supervise.”
Martzel furrowed his brow. “A new body…? You mean, some kind of preemptive necromancy?”
“N-no! Yes-- no, because he isn’t dead yet, so--” Asra jerked his head up at last to meet Julian’s eyes. “It doesn’t really count, does it? And you’ll be safe!” His hands trailed up Julian’s shin and rested in the crook of his knee. “You won’t have to worry about him, you won’t have to worry about anything! If you let me do this for you, everything will be alright!”
“Is that really why you changed your mind?”
“What d-do you mean?”
Julian tried his best to ignore Asra’s tantalizing grip on his leg. His own fingernails dug into his arms. “When we were back there-- his bedroom-- you only agreed to help him when he said he needed a new body. It wasn’t to do with me.”
Asra bit his lip and slunk back into the floor.
“Mx. Alnazar, it would serve you well to answer all of our questions,” Martzel warned.
“I told you I would protect you, and I will,” Asra replied quietly.
“Er… Dr. Devorak? Do you want to continue?”
Julian gulped. He knew Asra wasn’t telling the whole truth, but how could he keep going when Asra so obviously had good intentions? He shook his head. “We need to find Crow,” he mumbled. “We don’t have time for this.” An apology singed a hole right through his tongue but what scrap of pride he clung to refused to let it out.
As if Asra could read his mind, the magician kissed his knee and snuggled into the fabric there. “I’m sorry, Ilya,” he whined.
“I- I have to go,” Julian said.
Asra only withdrew when Martzel gently tugged him away. Without Julian to cling to, he crumpled in on himself again. “She told me she was going into Vesuvia proper today,” Martzel offered. “Something about a gift for her partner.” Seeing the torn look on Julian’s face, he added, “I’ll stay here if you want to make sure Asra is alright.”
“‘Mfine,” Asra sniffled.
“Miss Crow has listened to me harp on about this issue for long enough. I’m sure she will listen to you. I, ah, think I may give too much unwarranted advice for my own good.”
Julian nodded. Gods, he wished he could scoop Asra up in his arms, wished he could apologize until his throat was sore, but… wasn’t this what the Magician foretold? Wasn’t this always meant to be, despite Julian’s best efforts? Asra’s night-sky scarf hung heavy as guilt around his neck. Before he could change his mind, he balled his hands into fists and marched straight-backed as a soldier out of the library.
Farmer’s death at Ghazipur border while protesting against farm laws disturbing: Akhilesh Yadav | India News – Times of India
LUCKNOW: Samajwadi Party (SP) president Akhilesh Yadav on Saturday termed the death of a 57-year-old farmer due to heart attack while protesting against the Centre’s new farm laws at the Ghazipur border as “disturbing”, and accused the ruling BJP of being “heartless”. In a Hindi tweet, he said, “On the first day of the new year itself, the news of the martyrdom of a farmer at the Ghazipur border…
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Farmer’s death at Ghazipur border while protesting against farm laws disturbing: Akhilesh | India News – Times of India
LUCKNOW: Samajwadi Party (SP) president Akhilesh yadav on Saturday termed the death of a 57-year-old farmer due to heart attack while protesting against the center’s new farm laws at the Ghazipur border as “disturbing”, and accused the ruling BJP of being “heartless”. In a Hindi tweet, he said, “On the first day of the new year itself, the news of the martyrdom of a farmer at the Ghazipur border…
View On WordPress