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Kalmuli

The Pendulum III: Potions and Pleasantries

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Makiel would slip more into a focused state of mind. His hands would move to work along the areas of Kalmuli's back that now were coated in oil. The shoulders was an area he wanted to do a lot of work at. His attention would shift to working the right than left shoulder before he would move somewhere else. His thumbs were searching for little clumps of muscles or 'knots' in her shoulders. With the heat and oil, it didn't take very long to find a few. Makiel would relax the area with a few brushes of his fingertips and palm than move in to clamp down on the knots with his thumb and forefinger. He would grasp it over and over again as it would continuously get smaller and smaller but would slip out of his fingertips each time. Eventually he would succeed in getting rid of the clump or lessening it to a major degree. Afterwords he would relax the muscle again and work on pushing a bit more heat to the area before he'd move on to the left shoulder to do the same. 

The procedure would be to do similar to this all over Kalmuli's mana points and along various parts of her pathways, in an attempt to unclog and relax the hard work to where the body would not feel pain from his moderate intense work. After an area was clean of most of it's clumps, he would than link with Kalmuli's mana and start flushing and clumps in her pathways. If anything was causing a dam or blockage he would than work it out of her system. It would be a long process that would take nearly two hours. Hard work but rewarding to the caster.

 

The young wolf was still focusing on his breathing, attempting to get the body under control before the mind. "I...felt it..my body felt it like I was there..all..at once." As Ingrid would rub along his body, his muscles would pulse, radiating a small heat from under the cold mana. His body was strained from taking in experiences that were not his own. It was a harsh way to learn a new set of skills but his body was taking in the information as quickly as it could. Attempting to link memories with muscle memory to understand where it was all coming from. A catalog of new skills/abilities/techniques were flooding in. The biggest of them was learning the new cryomancy and new shadowmancy skills. Once that giant was out of the way it would begin putting techniques on assassination and more advanced dagger fighting techniques into files to be pulled from when it was needed.

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Kalmuli could feel a big different in how she felt even while she was in deep meditation. She had moved away from the beach, switching instead of feeling like she was lying on her back in a warm, summer stream. It was interesting what she felt while Makiel worked on her. On the outside, she was groaning and drooling a little as he worked. "Mmnn...feels good..."She grumbled. Kalmuli let out a long exhale, bringing herself out of the meditation so she could interact with him more. "I feel like butter under your hands...hot buttery bread..."

She yawned, licking her lips and sighed. 

Ingrid pet him slowly, letting him relax against her. She didn't quite understand it...but perhaps it was better. She didn't want to get him flustered and upset when he was already struggling to breathe. "Hush now...Don't make yourself upset thinking on it..."She soothingly cooed to him. Ingrid took one of his ears, gently rubbing them in circles. "Sometimes dreams can feel like waking dreams...like you're feeling everything is happening and you can't help it...but that is just a sign you haven't rested..."

Ingrid kissed his nose. "Sleep it off."

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Makiel would continue this process, moving to Kalmuli's arms next, working down her left shoulder, to her upper and lower arms and spending plenty of time at her hands where he would pamper her with some very thorough work at her palm and each finger. The oil he had blended would be used as he moved along her arm, heating up her skin and muscle and making her body more receptive to his linking of her mana. Again he would work on a few knots, then ease the body from his work and flush her mana pathways. This time he would go from her fingertips to her neck as the mana would flow through him and out back to her as he had done with Ingrid. Once the left side was complete he would move to the right side and begin the same process. His focus was now pinpoint, breathing so lightly it was nearly impossible to hear it.

 

The young wolf was starting more and more to relax. His huffs were long sighs of breath that helped to relax him more. The rubbing against his fur and his ear all helped to calm down his overstimulated nerves more and more. His body was picking up it's strength bit by bit until he was half of what his body strength was normal at. Enough to walk about if he needed to but not enough to break into a full on run. His large furry head would rub against Ingrid's hands and her chest while he laid there. Perhaps his nerves just got the better of him and he was a touch scared for the fights to come. Everything had been so hectic since he'd been here that his body could have just been on edge. It made sense when he kept saying it over and over again to try and relax more and more.

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Kalmuli relaxed for a while longer while he finished and when he gave a little nudge for her to roll over, she eased around to her back and stretched out, feeling the limbering effects of his work on her rear. She let out a long, pleased sigh and let herself relax again. "Mmnn...I think the amount of work you put in could last me the whole year."She said, smiling and bringing her hands up to slip a pillow under her head. Kalmuli grinned up at him. "It'll be a nice, lingering feeling of you before you leave for a while...and then you can do it all over again when you come back." 

She tilted her head. "You do...want to come back...right?"

 

Ingrid could feel him relax against her more with her pets and attention. She used her nails to lightly scratch along his head, stimulating the nerves there and trailed her hand down to his neck, then back up again. She could feel herself starting to get a little sleepy herself, the weight of some of his body combined with the heat of the fireplace. As she stroked him, the softness of his fur, she was lulled into a state of contentment. Ingrid shut her eyes for a moment but that seemed to be enough to let her drift off to sleep for a light doze. 

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When Makiel was finished his mind was slowly coming back down from it's elevated state. His breathing was not as deep nor as slow. He was pleased with himself, hoping his work would alleviate the stress of what she had to endure on the daily. It was calming to see her relaxed, it brought a smile to his face. That was quickly shredded away once she spoke of him leaving. He'd forgotten about why he was here to begin with. A gloom feeling was set on his shoulders, he did not want to respond to her question just yet. He remained silent and still for a moment, letting the gravity of what she asked sink in. 'Would he even be able to come back here at all?' the though was running through his mind and he didn't like the answer. After all, he was a wanderer, this was part of the job was to pack up and move. 

"I.." He spoke but it was hard to really give the answer, "..want to.." It was still uncertain whether or not he would be able to, not from death but he he would be 'allowed' to return here once the job was finished or if the young Ardesian needed him in his home world to look after affairs and to organize what would be a very distraught kingdom. The question did not settle on his mind well.

 

The young wolf was able to finally get some rest. His body would take the necessary steps in aiding in some recovery efforts. The fireplace and Ingrid's company did well to keep him comfortable and to rest easier. His mind would slip into the memories he felt, in an attempt to experience it one memory at a time. It would be a long process to learn all that was given to him. For now, memories of Aldorto's youth would awaken in the wolf and he would begin to learn the basics of his fighting style and tactics. 

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Kalmuli could see and hear the hesitation coming from him. It was an unfair question. One she shouldn't have asked but felt she should have. She sat up slowly, turning so she was facing him and taking his hands. She looked up to him, smiling. "I know you will wander...You'll wander as far as you want and as far as your feet will carry you."She said, slowly pulling him over so she could wrap her arms around him. "It's okay...one day you'll wander back here. That I know. When and at what part of life I will keep a mystery to us both."

She shut her eyes a moment, holding him quietly for a little while before letting him go and looking back up. "Keeping you on a leash would be unfair to those who actually don't mind it."She said with a mischievous chuckle.  "It will be okay. I'll be okay. I would be okay with if you wrote once in a while. Let me know how your travels are going and describing the places you have been."

 

Ingrid slept comfortably, keeping her arms around him and her hands buried in his fur. It was rare to have a quiet moment in the shop and Plana, the little apprentice, finally came downstairs to see what was going on. She saw the pair cuddled in the kitchen, smiling a little and sneaking off to go grab a couple of quilts. She came back with the big bundle, draping the napping pair so they were nice and warm before sneaking off again to go do a few chores of her own. 

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Makiel sat there enjoying the connection. "It's part of the job I suppose. I'll try to keep in touch but inter-planar and planetary communication isn't easy. Here...is not so easy to get to if you, by some chance, can't find a way back." That was the biggest concern that was on his mind. "If I do find my way back, I'll have plenty to tell and plenty more to discover and tell you about." 

Makiel took the time to just enjoy here and now but the ever seeping dread of leaving and possibly not making it back was still present in his mind. It almost felt like fact that he wouldn't make it back. "Once the Ardesian business is settled I'll find a way back here to you."

 

Aldorto was still soundly asleep when there came a heavy knock at the front door. Along with the heavy thuds at the front there was movement around the back, the Yarakul had gotten up, but had not snarled or growled or even barked. There was movement around the door by the kitchen, lastly there was movement around the other side of the building, looking for a way to get in besides the two doors. The sounds of claws moving on the walls as someone was climbing up to a window. The young wolf stirred a little, hearing the noise but not really registering what was going on.

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Kalmuli smiled. It was a fair compromise and she knew from the beginning that there would be little chances of seeing him again. Not unless his feet wandered back to familiar places. She sat on the bed, looking up at him and grinning cheekily. "I imagine you showing up on the back of a yarakul looking more wild than usual. It'll be a fun image to imagine for a while."She chuckled and shifted her position so she was on her knees on the bed, making them more eye to eye at this height. She leaned forward and gave him a long, slow kiss and pulled away. "Either way...let's make tonight one that makes a memory you can carry with you.  When you lie at night and you feel the warmth of a comfortable, think of me...When you dream, dream of this night. When you lie with another woman, remember I gave you that experience and pleasure first...but remember me fondly."

 

Ingrid still slept soundly, only stirring to get comfortable again and checked to make sure Aldorto was still there. She rubbed one of his ears and nestled back down. It was when she heard something scratching and raised her head a moment. It sounded like something was scaling the building, scratching around and trying to get on top. It wasn't unusual to have the local cats climb up the building so she settled back down, thinking it was just that. "Mmmn...stupid cats..."She muttered. 

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Makiel relaxed into the bed more. With Kalmuli growing closer to him, he was begging to feel more at home with this place. Somewhere to come back to, to fight to come back to. Her comment about riding the great wolf sounded more funny to him than anything else. He'd been used to walking that the thought of riding a beast around didn't occur to him. He did not have much to think about the image before he was pulled into a kiss. He embraced the elf, wrapping his arms around her back and holding onto her while she pressed her lips to his. When she pulled away, he held onto her and listened to her speak. She'd felt dearly of him, to say the least. Something to fight strongly for. 

"I couldn't forget you, not even in the height of a fight, not even in the laxness of the camps. I think you are permanently in my mind and body forever." Makiel's hands rubbed gently against Kalmuli's hips as he took a good long look at her face, hoping to get all the details of her face embedded into his mind. "Make this a nice to never forget you beautiful elf."

 

There came another loud bang at front door. From up the stairs, something had found it's way inside the building from a window. From the kitchen, the door was creaking open. It wasn't enough to wake the young wolf, but was enough to stir him again to the noises. Two large dark furred werewolves were sneaking into the place, looking for both the young prince and his mentor. At the front door, there was yet another knock, very loud.

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Kalmuli smiled, about to bring her mouth in for another kiss when loud banging interrupted her. She looked up, brow furrowed a bit in frustration. She looked to Makiel, sneaking a quick kiss before climbing off of the bed and grabbing a silky robe to cover herself. "We might have to put that on pause..."She said as she looked up to the ceiling of her room and then made for the door of her bedroom. Upstairs, she went to the front door and flung it open. "What?!"She said, shouting angrily at the intrusion. This was supposed to be a nice night but something was already barging in on it. 

Ingrid was startled awake by the yelling and sat up abruptly. She looked about, wiping her eyes and looked to the kitchen. There were two large werewolves there that didn't look like they were looking for a warm fire to curl up against. Aldorto was in no shape to fight and she scrambled to her feet, getting the poker from the fire place to use as a weapon if need be, putting herself between Aldorto and the wolves. "Go! Go away!"She said, swiping at them with it. "Leave him alone, get out!"

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Makiel heard the noise as well, though he was slower than Kalmuli at his response. He trailed behind a few good minutes. His body was not yet settled from the trance, fully. He would take a few moments to come up the stairs.

At the front door a large black furred werewolf in very heavy plate armor was standing, staring down at this elf. Staring with one eye and a glowing red light in the opened eye socket. Part of his skull was exposed, specifically around his right eye where the eye socket and a good portion of the top and side of the skull was clear. His jawline had a few spots were he was also missing flesh and the jaw and bone itself was bare. His paws seemed to be just fine, however. On his back was a large blade, wide with a sharp edge on one side. When Kalmuli screamed at him he looked a bit puzzled at her. "My nephew, I'd heard he was here. Once our scout was sent here to retrieve him and there was no word I grew anxious as to his well being." His voice was gruff, something to be expected of a beast so heavily armored as this one. 

As for the two wolves that were inside already, the one from the kitchen had made his way close and was sitting on his hind legs watching Ingrid and the sleeping elf. The other one had been waiting on the stairwell, watching the events unfold and was waiting for any further commands. There came a low howl from the wolf at the stairs, confirming the presence of Aldorto. Though the Yarakul out back was practically enough to confirm that itself. 

"And it appears he is here. I had assumed he might have been picked up and held captive, at least by the way his mentor spoke of this place." The wolf at the front door spoke up. "It seems like my concern was far from what I expected...I apologize for my intrusion." The large man bowed his head down as a symbol of his fault. 

Aldorto was still sluggish, tired still and coming out of deep memories, his mind was still partially in his memory state.

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Kalmuli was startled by the horrific appearance of this...zombie-like werewolf in her presence. She didn't cringe but just the initial shock was something. She huffed and crossed her arms. "You could have sent a letter in advance. It's incredibly rude to barge into someone's work and home like this."She said as she heard the sounds of Ingrid getting up and swatting at wolves in the kitchen. It looked like they had been sneaking about the Pendulum for awhile.  Kalmuli sighed, pinching the bridge of her nose. "I adore Makiel but tying him up and having my way with him isn't being held captive if he can leave later."

The elf would gesture for him to come inside. "We'll you're already here...come in. He's resting."

In the kitchen, the wolves had kept their distance and she lowered the poker. Were they not here to do anything? Ingrid still kept the poker handy and sat knelt by Aldorto while he slept. She didn't know what to make of them and their forms definitely didn't make things easy. "Good boy...or girl...stay."She said, keeping the wolves back. "Stay."

 

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Makiel would come up a few moments later, seeing the scene before him. He was standing at the top of the stairs watching for the moment.

"It wasn't the warden we care about. I was more concerned of you tying up my nephew and holding him here. This place smells of herbs, I assume Makiel's report is correct and this 'is' in fact a place of healing and not the brothel mistaken as a healer's shop that I'd originally believed it to be. I again apologize, it's the initial smell that swayed my observation. Kreigstad Ardese, commander of this branch of wolf soldiers." His face turned over to look at his underlings. "Zash, Braden, stand down. You both found him and were willing to apprehend him if the need arose, good work." As he spoke, the two wolves eased up and let their fur retreat. The one closest to Ingrid was a male, around mid 20s with bright red hair, the other, female, dark black hair, elvish blood, dark skinned.

"What's his condition than? You said he was resting." Kreigstad stood at attention. His hope was to do what he could to improve his nephew's situation and get him going as soon as he was able. 

The two inferior officers both relaxed, Braden, sat where he was where as Zash found a spot next to Makiel on the stairwell to start hassling him not relaying a message back. "It's been hours, you had him worried enough that he came here himself. He's not happy, you better have an explanation for him 'warden'."

"I got side tracked. Mistakes happen and this isn't a battlefield. Stand down." Makiel keep his eyes on Kreigstad, his form sent shivers down his spine. It was the curiosity of how he had gotten like that and what was keeping him alive.

As for Aldorto, his consciousness still wasn't quite there. His mind was pulling from memories of the old wolf. 'Kreigstad, my second in command, loyal, strong, dependable, weak in magic, makes up for it in overall strategy and physical ability, rally-er, warlord.' His memories were starting to flood in of all he could about this man.

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Kalmuli smirked and covered up a laugh. "Ah well...I think you got that message mixed around. He wasn't really the one getting tied up."She said, shaking her head and settling her hands on her hips. "He's resting from a bit of tainted stew...not my cooking I'm afraid. So far he's just been asleep but...it sounds like he's gotten up and moved."

She noted that she heard Ingrid in the kitchen, walking away from Kreigstad so Makiel could speak with him freely.  Kalmuli entered the kitchen, seeing Aldorto in his wolf form on the floor and Ingrid wielding a fireplace poker. Not that it would have done much against werewolves. "Was he cold?"She asked, moving over to look him over. 

"A little...he suddenly woke up in this form and was at the front door. Said he was cold and thirsty so I helped him into the kitchen where he could sit near a fire."Ingrid said, lowering the poker but not removing herself from Aldorto's side. "I've just been sitting with him and helping keep him warm."

Kalmuli looked over Aldorto, petting along his head. While he was warmer than when he first laid down, she could still feel a slight chill from him. She pat his neck, easing up and adjusting the quilts a little. "Cryomancy. With a bit of his shadomancy he's been messing with...he's probably burnt himself...or rather, froze himself out. Some time and actual rest will help him get better. Good job. Just make sure to keep his water bowl full. The heat will dehydrate him quick."

Ingrid nodded and gathered up the water bowl so she could refill it with some fresh water. 

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Kreigstad took in the information and processed his next commands. "Zash, Bradon, see two it these two take in what help we can offer. If they are offering us hospitality than we will do what we can until there is time for a rest." There came a nod from them both.

Bradon would stand up and greet Ingrid more civil this time. "Bradon Crast, acting Sergeant of the Ardesian Militia ma'am. Sorry about the fright from earlier, just following up on orders. How can I help?"

As for Zash, she would slink by, following behind Kalmuli as she slipped into the kitchen. "Our sincere apology about breaking in and disturbing your peace, Zasha Breakmoon, acting Lieutenant of the Ardesian Milita at your service, anything we can do to help?"

Kreigstad would make his way over to Makiel. "You bastard...This could have been avoided if you simply sent back a message!" His voice was a snarl and teeth were bared.

"As I told your officer, I was side tracked. Things happen Kreig." Makiel took a firm stance, preparing fully to get in some altercation.

"Now we have a bad first impression with-" 

                                                                  "Faarea! ie' ease.  Tanya's y' naia!" (Enough! At ease. That's a command!) Aldorto's voice was strong, resonated within the whole place. It sounded like the young wolf but with far more authority in it's voice. "Amin will mahta sina iire amin kuile, stand ndu Bartholomew Ardese." (I will handle this when I awake, stand down Bartholomew Ardese.)

It wasn't much but it sparked enough old memory from the large wolf to have him calm down. "Understood, my lord." He shot a toothy look at Makiel and took a place by the door to keep watch.

Aldorto's eyes were wide open and bright blood red. It took a moment or two to calm down before he was 'awake' and staring at Ingrid. It was a face he didn't recognize at first. "Hal-gra...Ingrrid." His voice was soft, taking in that this was reality not his dream like memories. A hand came up to brush against Ingrid's cheek. "Ingrid.."

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