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Kalmuli

The Pendulum III: Potions and Pleasantries

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Makiel would take some time around Ingrid's wrist before pulling up the arm then the shoulder and lastly spending time around her neck. He would then shift his hand at the base of her neck to start working down Ingrid's other arm. "A few knots here and there. You aren't very bad off. I can only assume the cooking and herbs help out with that. Mostly I'm just trying to rejuvenate the channels. They have slight casting lag, from the feel of if anyways. Your muscles are somewhat tense, a few rough patches but nothing really worry some. Maybe a few knots here and there but that's not the purpose of my work right now. I'd be spending too much time on those areas. I want to graph your body to my muscles so I can know what your body does and what patterns it would fall into." 

Makiel would work slowly around Ingrid's neck. His thumb and forefinger rolling around her tight muscles around the base of the neck and jawline. Some of the more sophisticated mana paths would be around here. He would take his time and do more delicate work while his hand, that was down at Ingrid's hand, would run along the gaps in-between each digit. The conduit that he'd started on the other side of Ingrid's body would again start only on the opposite side. Makiel's fingers would move delicate but precisely around the muscles, veins, and channels. His breathing was long, deep in intake, and quiet. His mind going more into the trance-like state while his muscles took over via instinct.

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Ingrid would make a little grunt as he worked around her neck. She could feel it start to loosen up the joints of her neck. She let her ears relax, shutting her eyes and relaxing as he worked. "Mmm...the right ones yes. Good herbs can flush out old or dead mana naturally..."She added, her ears rotating with his finger motions. Ingrid had to wonder if she would fall asleep with this kind of touch. She was usually pretty uncomfortable with it but this was fine. She made a bit of a noise in her throat, akin to a cat's purr as he moved around her neck and traveled down her arms.  "Mmmn...this feels really nice...I apologize if I make odd noises, but I don't really get this kind of...positive touch...this often."

Ingrid felt him on the other side of her body this time. She stayed loose and calm, letting it happen and she could already feel a huge difference when she breathed or when her blood flowed to certain parts that it didn't seem to encounter any sort of road blocks. "I'm sorry if I fall asleep while you're doing this...I don't think I can help it."She warned him in advance.

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Makiel chuckled slightly listening to Ingrid speaking about falling asleep. His hands ran the course again with his thumbs and forefinger. There was slight incantations being spoken under-breath, mostly it was additional cleansing and rejuvenation via a few incantations. "If you fall asleep I'll just have to move you around Ingrid. Just relax and enjoy the work." 

Once the work on Ingrid's other arm was finished, Makiel would slowly move down Ingrid's chest to work along her ribs. The conduit would change while Makiel would work around Ingrid's chest. The mana would spread out along Ingrid's abdomen, flowing outwards to her hips and sides. Makiel would work on spreading Ingrid's mana thoroughly around her chest as well as working on manipulating the pathways that lay spread out her chest.

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Ingrid stiffened when she was touched around her torso trying to relax but the awkward pressure and groping was...difficult to handle. She kept still as possible while he worked and took, deep, relaxing breaths to help keep herself calm. She would be glad when he was finished with this part. "Ah...watch my front please."She warned him in advance. "I'm...not comfortable with...touching much."

Ingrid made an odd face and looked down at her hands. "I was attacked some time ago and assaulted. So, I don't like certain touches. I've gotten a little better with some help but...it's hard. It's hard not to get the flashbacks."She told him though she didn't know if he was paying attention to her words or not. It just felt important. "I don't know if that helps much. I'm not sure if you can even help with that...but being able to remove some tension out of my back will be nice."

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Makiel heard her words but none of them registered. Soon enough Makiel would move so he could get a better position at Ingrid's hips and her upper thighs. His hands traced the channel leading to the front of her hips. The trace was light, barely even considered skin contact, however the mana connection was still strong. With a fingertip place just below Ingrid's naval, Makiel would hold and begin to siphon mana to the point. His other hand would move slowly up to just under Ingrid's chin where his first two fingers would prod at the flesh just behind the jaw bone. 

It was another circuit of mana being channeled. The point at Ingrid's gut was a strong point of mana that he wanted to 'kickstart' and refreshing using an old technique that forcefully dragged mana to the mana point where it could be refreshed faster and enable to point to be used as a secondary focusing point, allowing use of mana that manipulated or was focused on the legs to be stronger and cast quicker. Under his breath Makiel would begin another chant in the Primordial tongue. Though most was unintelligible, there were a few verses referring to the trunk of a tree and roots that would sow into the land.

At this stage, Makiel's eyelids were barely open, his eyes themselves were glossed over as a tint of bright blue pure essence had veiled his eyes. He was conscious enough to know what his body needed to do and to feel Ingrid, but not much else other than that. He was being a conduit of mana. Almost like a second vessel that was taking Ingrid's mana and siphoning it to cleanse it before putting it back in. His hands were not manipulating tissue at this moment, they were simply there to give and receive mana.

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Ingrid felt more anxious as his hands started to get lower. Was he not listening? She trembled a little as his hand wandered around her stomach and ended up at her navel, traveling no lower. Still, she felt uncomfortable. His touch was firm and she could feel his hands press into her skin. She gripped onto her knees, sitting as still as she could as he worked. The feeling of her mana being manipulated was unnerving and she felt like she was struck in a centrifuge between Makiel and her own mana. She squeezed her eyes shut. 

In her head, she could sense Lian making a bit of a fuss. 'Gods this feels weird...I feel like a water pump.'She complained and shivered .

'You feel weird...Try being the one with the body. I wonder if this is what a cow feels like when it's being drained for meat...and then the blood is put back in because they got the wrong cow.' Ingrid replied but her lips never moved. 

'That's...That's a disgusting image.'Lian retched.

'At least it feels good a little...almost getting a really deep wash. Or picking off a bit of old, shedding skin.'Ingrid mused as she felt another rush of mana leave and a come back again, feeling warm and refreshed. Ingrid could hear Makiel muttering near her ear, too low for human ears to hear but enough she could make out something. 

'I do sense a bit of a change...I feel cooler. Almost like taking a nice good drink of cold water.'Lian commented. 'Or taking a cold bath after a hot day.'

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Makiel would hold in the area a bit longer, siphoning the mana and starting to feel out the essence more. After a minute or so the drain from Ingrid would stop, however the hand at the base of her chin would leave. Makiel's essence would return to his body, flowing around his digits. The chanting would grow louder as though he was speaking to someone who could hear him. The point at his fingers would start to feel more essence being brought into the body. It was mostly Flora based essence, something to boost the reserves and enhance Ingrid's work some. In theory it was to give some essence to Ingrid in order for her to bare sight of the essence inside and herbs and flowers she may harvest within the next few days. 

"Maray tak fel er'va nu tor'ray nak imm se'do rommak annay." (Take upon the land, a piece of nature, sight within life.) Makiel would expel a deep breath, slow the connection, then break it. His eyes would slowly return to their original state and he would start to regain full consciousness.  For his hands, Makiel would move them down to Ingrid's knees, applying a firm pressure to both Ingrid's knees and hands. 

"It's alright. I'm not him. You don't have to be afraid of my touch." Makiel's eyes looked up to Ingrid, the blue veil over his eyes was nearly gone, the raw mana had nearly faded.

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Ingrid could feel him slowly roll back and her mana settle back into place. She opened her eyes slowly, sitting still for a little while longer and listened to his words. She wondered what he meant but she relaxed and looked down at her hands. His darker colored ones made her disappear and she managed a little smile. Right. He wasn't him. Ingrid looked back at him, seeing the eerie glow of his eyes and stared at him for a moment. "I...I know...but it's just...it really is something that I just have to get used to again. I'll be okay."She said, managing a sheepish little smile and settled one of her hands on his. 

Her heart was thrumming in her ears but she was calming down slowly. Ingrid would shift a little awkwardly. "Thanks...I definitely feel a difference. I don't feel quite as...clogged up? Yes, I don't feel quite as clogged."She said as she rolled her head a little. "It's not wonder Kalmuli likes you around. If every healer and mage got this kind of treatment, there would be no worries about spells backfiring."

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Makiel smiled listening to Ingrid. She was beginning to calm down more which was helping out. Makiel would rest for a moment, catching his breath and coming out of his trance like state. "That's the goal after all, unclog the channels and make things run more efficient. There's always the risk of backfire, but it lessens the risk unless you decide to try and throw everything you have into one spell. We spent a week trying to put out fires and another half a week fixing the damages." 

Makiel shook his head remembering that long week. He was blamed for part of the fire, one of the reasons why he was made a wanderer and not a guide. Either way, he was at least glad to see something come out of this. "You need a few more minutes, or to talk about it?" 

It wasn't uncommon for Makiel to hear things like this. Many of the female wardens had at least some experience like this. A few of the males as well, but that was far more uncommon. He'd heard a few stories, none he'd like to repeat of hear again, but he'd been there to bear witness to the stories none the less. It was part of the territory, at least so he'd been told by the River King when he went to apprentice under the man. His mind wandered for a moment, recalling a few of the monstrous race clients he'd been called in to work on. A dragon, in particular, bared a story not so far off from what Ingrid had probably experienced. Makiel nearly lost his life over her outburst. "If not that's fine, I just need to know if you are going to be alright Ingrid."

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Was she?

Ingrid knew she didn't like certain touches but Makiel had been true to his word that he wouldn't hurt her. If anything, she felt a little bit more relaxed and since Kalmuli was right upstairs if she needed her, it would be okay. Ingrid would nod, patting his hand and looking up at him. "I'll be okay...I think I just need a few minutes. I just get a little jittery but I won't lash out or anything. I just tremble like a lamb for a bit."Ingrid said as she reached up and rubbed the back of her neck a little. She would stand to her feet, stretching a little bit to sense out the difference. 

Standing helped her with the jitters as well. "Not long ago I was assaulted by one of the leaders from Zine...it was a mistake. I had taken off his clothes trying to help him since he was badly injured and looked exhausted. When he woke up while I was helping him, I got pulled down and...well...I wouldn't have my son without him."Ingrid said, rubbing her stomach a little. "It wasn't violent. Rough but not violent...but just...The intimacy is confusing. I don't know what I'm supposed to do. If I'm trying to heal someone, are they supposed to try to grab at me like that? If I want to really be with someone, is it supposed to be rough and wild like that?"She asked rhetorically. Kalmuli had told her that all of that had been wrong for the Zine man to do and that she was in the right to feel violated. Ingrid let out a sigh and looked back at him. "I know I'll be okay...but people should be okay with me doing my job and being a healer doesn't mean I should be taken advantage of."

It feel better to say it. Ingrid leaned against one of the shelves, arms crossed over her chest. "I'll be okay...Things like this takes time."

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Makiel listened to Ingrid, hearing all of her words before he spoke up. "You're a healer, as am I. We see people at their most vulnerable states. When they are tense, afraid, looking for you to be strong. Sometimes they turn to you and get a sense of intimacy or lust. It's happened to many of us in the warden initiative. Luckily there were others nearby to stop many of these advances. Most of the time anyway. I have a story for you if you'd like a quick laugh. Something to possibly lift your spirits."

Makiel was kneeling in front of Ingrid, looking up at her, watching her move, seeing if anything was out of place while she moved. "I promise it's not a bad story."

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Ingrid looked down at him. She was a little flush in the face but she felt better talking about what happened. A story? That didn't sound too bad. Though, Makiel's staring at her while he looked at her, spotting anything that could be wrong. Ingrid shifted a bit awkwardly but smiled. "If it's a quick, funny story...sure."Ingrid said, reaching down and patting his head. She would shimmy around him, retreating to go sit back down on the stool with her elbows on her knees and her chin resting in her hands as she got comfortable enough to listen to him tell it. 

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Makiel gave a light chuckle before trying to recall the details as best he could. "Alright than," He began shifting his body so he was sitting on his rump with one knee raised up, leaning his body weight into his knee, "so as you know I'm a Warden, part of an initiative of warriors trained in mostly druidic and primal power. With that said, I took up an apprenticeship with a man the Archdruids called 'The River King'. He was a real old sage, from what they said. I went to meet him and, to my surprise, he didn't look like some mystic or sage, just a man in his late 50s in good shape. So, I apprenticed under him and worked on evolving my sensitivity in my fingers and work on my massage and more specifically my essence channel work." 

Makiel took a second to breath and mentally prepare himself. "One day, I wake up, early early early in the morning, sun wasn't even on the horizon yet. R.K. is scrambling to get things ready and cleared off. He's panicking. I came by to help him out and he tells me there's a big client today, very important client. I spend the next hour making room for this client, getting things set up, now mind you, we are living and working out of the same building which is a medium sized wooden cabin with a small waterwheel on a big river. We managed to get everything set up and we are waiting, and waiting, and waiting. Finally R.K. tells me, go outside, take a dip in the river, a good long dip, and grab a few boards from the shed and bring em outside. So I took about twenty minutes to just soak out in the river, let the water refresh me and refill me reserves of water essence. I grab these boards and I set come back 'round the front, there is my mentor ushering me to lay down these boards and make a box shape with em. I'm still in the dark, no idea what's going on..a dragon..a beautiful blue scaled dragon came down to land in this square not more than a few minutes later. This is our client."

Makiel took a moment to pause letting in what he just said take a moment to sink in. "Now, I'd never worked on dragons. Trolls, orcs, demons, angels, minotaurs, ents, but never a dragon. This dragon lands, takes a few moments to furl it's wings back in and change into it's human form. A woman, wild looking with spiked hair, sapphire looking eyes and a strong toned body. I was a bit stunned. Fully clothed as though she was about to a hoard of minions to war. I heard he speak, her voice was sharp, to the point, very hasty. She didn't realize I was there until the River King even introduced me. Long story short, I worked on her by myself. Flowed her mana, worked on her muscles, front and back. I think she came onto me around eighteen times while I worked on her nude laying on my table, than another sixteen times when we took her outside to work on her true form and get between her scales. She tried to buy me over and over again that day. Gold, trinkets, a city, a harem, all these deals were given to my mentor, he turned it down over and over again. She'd talked of kidnapping me, keeping me around on a leash, just to keep around. She kept demanding to pay R.K. to have me. Even threatening him and tackling me down into the river bare naked just to have me." Makiel just kept shaking his head, "It was embarrassing. When she finally left after I'd been grouped around seven times and nearly undressed around four times, my mentor came to me and smiled, chuckling. He offered me something to drink and laughed. 'I booked the rest of the day so you're free to relax.' he told me, 'I want to explain to you that when people are here, being worked on, this sort of thing happens. I'd been propositioned by drow, kidnapped by orcs, charmed by both dryads and nymphs to come and stay with them, I've also been slugged at by minotaurs, orcs, and even demons. Emotions will run unstable from time to time, we aren't just treating wounds and knots but also emotions and hearts. People confide in healers, for better or worse. That's why you need to be on guard and be strong. Listen and be patient as well. Tears flow from time to time. Anger, sorrow, lust, pain, these are all common to have when you work on someone.' It was the best advice he gave me. That dragon..she came around a lot, still tried to by me, still tried to take me away, put a bounty on me too once I left my apprenticeship."

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Ingrid listened to his story but she only smiled, not laughed about his plight with the dragon. She knew he understood the feeling though and the man, The River King, as he was named, knew of this plight as well. Being a healer was quite dangerous...and she knew that from her own experiences. Though a dragon...one that was ready to claim him and keep him like a pet was excessive. Dragons enjoyed hording things but people were not things...and Makiel no doubt felt violated and awkward. "Being a healer might as well be like a contortionist dodging all of the advances that come with it."She said as she twirled one of her curls around her finger. "What happened with that man was the most severe of advances I've had. I've been groped and pulled on quite a bit. The worst of it has mostly been here in Drakiss since it's mostly soldiers here."

Ingrid stopped twirling her hair, the coil springing back into place. "Yet, we've got to do what we can for people despite how it feels. I'm glad I'm not the only one who went through this...and that male healers can end up on the other side too."She said as she folded her arms on her lap. "Still...your story was quite funny. You should tell it to Kalmuli one day. She would definitely get a good giggle out of it. She's been doing this for so long, I'm sure she's got some stories of her own."

 

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Makiel took in a deep breath to refocus his efforts on working on Ingrid's legs. There was no need to go into a trance again. "Well, there are a few tricks I learned here and there but the safest thing you can do is the buddy system. Keep another person nearby, when at all possible. At least until you get a good handle at close quarters."

Makiel smiled as he took a deep breath. "Sit and I'll finish up. If you're done that's fine, but if you want me to finish and ground everything, you need to sit again." He would wait for her response but he'd mentally prepared to work on her legs. How to finish up her grounding would depend on a few more questions. "I've got a lot of stories involving the Wardens as well as some of my healing work and time as a Wanderer. Ever need a lesson on people, just say the word."

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