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The great fairy's eyes turned down towards the blood that was running down his hand. Apparently he had hit it deeper than she had assumed. Or was he simply easy to bleed? The latter may be pertinent information should she need it in the future.
Maleficent's eyes narrowed at the chuckle that she received from the magic user. He found her amusing? It sent a shiver of distaste through her as she gazed at him. She had not intended to be amusing, and did that mean that he was discounting what she was thinking? That his power, his ability [i whatever] it was had convinced him that there was nothing to be concerned about? It made her pull back, landing him a severe glance over, narrowing her eyes.
They then dodged to the magic that he conjured in his hand, the cloaked woman growing still as he did so. Was this combative...? She then snapped her gaze towards his face tensely. But then it dissipated in his palm, leaving not even smoke. Maleficent's gaze was trained on him as he did so, watching him carefully as he pulled his hand away, displaying his palm again in surrender.
She tilted her head up minutely, a token of her understanding and skepticism as he rose to stand with her. Maleficent again on instinct maintained the distance between them. She would not be able to move quick enough should he choose to go against his own words, but she would send enough magic his way to rend his body cleanly- often in times of extreme emotion or suddenness her magic would go awry, destructive in its instinctive, reactionary nature.
But he raised another exemplifying hand, banishing the blood and wound from his hands and presenting the appendage to the tall guardian of the wilds. Her mouth twisted down again, raising them to his. "[#9c27b0 I could do the same,]" she said, meaning him, able to catch onto the specific nature of the implication, but not believing his intentions. But ignoring that, she instead raised a bone pale hand again and slowly turned her hand palm up, bringing her fingertips closer to his face. "[#9c27b0 but you want this off first, I imagine?]"
Her knowing gaze lingered on the site of the wounds before she brought them up to his again, waiting to see his permission. But after a moment's rethinking, the woman retracted her hand and glanced around. It was dark here- the center of the forest, around the throne of roots she had made, where the lighted creatures dwelt closer to the pools and the spire hills. That would be a better place. She listened quietly, glancing around and then back at him. "[#9c27b0 Not here.]"
Loki's blood continued to run down his hand for a while more, as he observed Maleficent, but soon the wound stopped pouring blood and although he had yet to wipe the blood from his hand, at least it was starting to dry.
This woman was interesting, to say the least. She reminded him very much so of himself. She was powerful, no doubt, skilled in the art of magic, but like him, she too had been betrayed and hurt. Recently too, if the way she moved, careful not to bend or jostle her back, was any indication.
Had she been stabbed? Perhaps by a close friend? But the way she moved was indicating a far larger wound. He had heard tales of the Valkyrie women having golden wings to take those who died in battle to valhalla... and for a second, he contemplated the irony that perhaps he had in fact died, but his Valkyrie had no wings, and so they were both stuck in a purgatory.
But of course that made no sense. He had not been in any battles, and he had not performed honorably in quite some time. This woman, whatever she may be, was no valkyrie.
But... Perhaps she was previously some other form of winged creature?
He couldn't help but smile at her words about biting, despite the pain it put his lips in to pull themselves like that, and he gave a chuckle.
Yes, it was true, he could very well bite her, literally or metaphorically, he had done both many times before, but he let his magic pool in his hand, forming a greenish flame, to show her that even though he might not have use of his mouth, if he had wanted to hurt her, he could have already done so.
The flame went out, and he gave her a pointed look before standing up.
Perhaps it was time to switch methods. He could tell that they might be like-minded. She was clever, that he was sure of, and she wouldn't fall for any of his tricks.
But what could he offer in return for her help?
Even with his voice, if it was wings she had lost, he could not help her regrow them.
Loki knew he would have to learn more about her before he could ever come up with any sort of deal...
Of course, that didn't mean he couldn't come up with a deal that would primarily benefit him. He had done it plenty of times before, and found loopholes in his deals that provided him and the other gods with many things in times past.
For now he could focus on her pain. He saw it in her eyes. It was both emotional and physical pain.
A simple healing spell on his own finger removed any trace of the cut or blood on his hand, and he offered it to her, hoping the gesture was understood.
Maleficent's gaze flickered towards his fingers, noting his repeating the gesture towards his own mouth. She blinked calmly, yes of course she could notice it. Her eyes glanced over his face, his expression and the near gauntness of his angular face. The grand fairy hummed absently, her voice hitching upwards at the end as if forming the sound into a question, feeling a twitch of knowing meanness cross her expression. Yes of course she knew what he wanted. She was tempted to leave him like that. But her expression fell away back into a cool mask. She was suffering, so why shouldn't anyone else?
Her eyes narrowed when he leaned down and scrabbled at the ground a moment, his eyes dodging down towards the ground. Maleficent's hand remained where it was while he reached, her own eyes passing down as his did. She was curious as towards what he was going to do, watching his hands taking and breaking the stick. Now her head turned down a little bit to watch his method. [i What was this?]
Her eyes flickered up briefly to his face to watch his reaction at piercing his skin. Pain seemed familiar to this one. How peculiar. Her back ached sharply as she stayed where she was and the woman adjusted her position, tilting her head as he started on his forearm, writing in his own blood.
Maleficent's lips closed as she read over the name. She assumed it was a name and not a species. "[#9c27b0 Loki.]" the fairy repeated in a low voice, turning her eyes up again, wondering if she had said it correctly.
Her eyes lingered on him for a few moments. Yes, she clearly could see that he wished to have his mouth freed. So fresh was this punishment. She wondered if it was something deserved, for someone to go to such length to restrain and drive an awl, or a needle very thick, through his lips. "[#9c27b0 I wonder what you sound like under there.]" Maleficent said in a murmur, feeling a hard reserve stain her voice. She reached her long nailed fingers forwards as if she were going to touch the stitching. She indeed wanted to. It withheld a [i different] strain, a different [i taste] of magic than this one. She could not see, having yet to feel, but could get the taste of golden. Her eyes the slowly rose to his. "[#9c27b0 But to let you free... What if by chance you bite?]" Now that she had danced along the line of her thoughts, drifting back to the loss of [i her] freedom. And should she be so benevolent as to grant another's freedom? Her eyes distanced for just a moment as she recalled the pain, the horrific breaching of her innocence by someone she trusted, and she trusted not this one.
Diaval murmured unhappily and shifted in restlessness on her shoulder again, hopping off of her and fluttering back towards the tree to change direction and then land on the ground again, cawing once more. Maleficent moved to stand straight again, finally removing the stone from underneath his chin. "[#9c27b0 I've already been bitten once.]" she said, her voice husky in its low quietude, her face through its stoic calm tight and uneven with her stony venom. It was not turned towards him specifically, but she assumed her would assume that.
There was a chance that should she help him, he would return the favor. But nothing could replace what she had lost. Even if by some mystery she would never be whole. She was now a different being, twisted yes, but forcing herself to become something hollow she would be requisite.
Loki had gotten Maleficent's attention now, and she was even looking at the stitching. Perhaps she would now understand that he was unable to remove the binding thread on his lips, and would require magic similar, yet spoken, to remove them.
Spoken magic was always stronger than unspoken magic. By telling the magic what to do, it brought the magic to life, solidified it, and gave you greater control. Without it, Magic typically had a mind of its own, and those who could not properly control it would never be able to use it.
Words were like a tether to the magic, bending your thoughts into a physical reaction of the magic, and aligning it with what you needed to do.
Of course, it was possible to use magic without speaking, but more complicated spells always required more than just a thought to complete.
Transformation spells, simple healing spells, and simple destructive spells were among the easiest of spells to use without words, but none of those would help him with his plight. If he wanted to leave this place, or at the very least, rid himself of the threads, he would need someone with magic who had the ability to speak. Spoken words had most likely gone into making these enchanted threads, and thus spoken word would be required to remove it. A fitting punishment, as the wearer would be unable to remove the thread themselves, no matter how hard they tried.
In answer to her almost-question, he lifted a hand to his mouth, fingers gently brushing against the lips, catching a bit of the blood. It was then that he had an idea....
Bending further downwards, careful not to rest his chin on the stone of her staff, Loki felt along the ground near him until he found a stick small enough to fit in his hand. It was dried and old, and snapped easily, but it was thick enough to create a sharp point on either end.
Used to pain, he barely flinched as he dug a sharp point into the pad of his finger, and only stopped until he could feel blood start to drip down the finger. It would be a crude method of communication, but at least he could peak her interest with a bit of provided information.
He had limited space, and limited 'ink' so to speak, so he quickly swiped his finger several times over his forearm to form a single crudely written word.
Her mind was keeping her occupied with leaving, and then again leaving him and concealing herself to allow him to act without the hampering of someone watching him. She wanted to see what he was going to do, [i needed] to ensure that his presence here wouldn't threaten the wilds, and she didn't have the strength at present to bother enforcing...
He cleared his throat. Not simply the motion for himself, but the tone of it was to catch attention. Two steps away from him, the tall*, wounded fairy turned slightly, craning her head more so that she wouldn't flex her back, already feeling the protest of her open, yet healing wounds.
Her bright eyes turned down towards him, lowered on his knee. Maleficent let her eyes fall coolly half lidded, gazing down at him and fighting the tightness from her mouth. Her brows quirked barely into a frown as she turned towards him again.
This defensive, and clearly self imported, creature. She didn't know what else to call him. His frowning glare at being called a man, disgust even that had crossed his face, and wielding his magic with no even fading evidence of wings lost. And now he was lowering. Her eyes narrowed in suspicion.
At the spark of his magic, her eyes flitted to his fingertips curiously, watching the color- so similar, yet different. The color, her magic was the only color she had seen aside from those tiny little fairies that lived closer to the borders, flowery colors, light and barely visible. But the green. She was the only fairy she had seen with green, having developed in color and intensity the older she had gotten, and how her power had grown, and now here [i he] was with this yellower, green magic.
Her eyes dodged back to his face- noting the recognition of his cluing into her curiosity and felt her chest twist tighter.
Diaval leaned forwards, catching a glance from this stranger that made his feathers ruffle and glided down to perch on the pointed shoulder of his mistress, cawing defensively. He didn't like this stranger- he had this look about him that he was positive that the fairy was aware of, but even so perhaps not. He couldn't fight it.
Maleficent turned slowly, facing him now, her eyes cold as she gazed at him. The great fairy then took a half step forwards, shifting her weight very carefully, again mindful of the pain of her back, and leaned down towards him. Bringing the stone of her staff around to bring it in front of his face she tilted it down to hover just underneath his chin, bringing her gaze up again from his slender fingers.
"[#9c27b0 What are you...]" the woman murmured huskily, glancing between his dark eyes before they were taken by the stitching on his mouth. She bet he could tell her then. But looking back at his tense gaze, having frozen now that she had come closer even if just so, she wasn't so sure she wanted to unleash him. The wounded woman then moved to draw back from him again, feeling tense coming so close.
*I keep feeling myself making an amalgamation of the original animated film Maleficent, and the Jolie version. I see her built physically more with the long, tall Maleficent from Disney, with the later one's features hence the long, tall descriptions and such
As Loki heard the woman's words, telling him of who she was and how no man would walk in these forests or something, he couldn't help but scoff, letting the air come out his nose as he rolled his eyes, obviously not one to be compared to a mere mortal.
He wanted badly to launch into a tirade about how he was no mortal. He was a god! High above those puny mortals! He felt insulted with the assumption, and he childishly wanted to lash out at her and her disinterest.
But Loki was a master of his emotions. Right now, this woman had more of an understanding of this world, and if he wanted her help in removing these binds, he had to swallow his pride and play nice. Besides... It wasn't like he hadn't done it before. How many times had he played the part of the submissive and loyal follower, or the respectful weakling?
After all, the characters he played were just more lies.
Loki cleared his throat as the woman... Maleficent, turned around to leave.
Before he got her attention, he was already on one knee, a position of servitude and respect. It was entirely possible that he could find his own way home, but unlike golden god of thunder, Loki Liesmith was not above asking for help if needed.
As an added afterthought, when he got Maleficent's attention once again, he lifted his hands and let the green of his magic flitter atop his fingers for a second, before retracting it.
Hopefully, the similar magic would peak her interest as much it did his, and she would be more likely to offer help....
As soon as she had spoken his name, that face flickered into her mind's eye, pulling a disgusted look across her mouth. "[#9c27b0 Good.]" Maleficent replied in a cold tone. Had he been anywhere near that man's reign she would slaughter him on the spot, the figured, sending his corpse back on the back of one of the tree warriors elephantines. But in her discourse, the woman took caution- though a lack of recognition flickered in his eyes there was yet a chance that he brought treachery from [i another] realm beyond the land of man. For the great fairy hadn't ventured beyond her hold though she was plenty strong enough, even in her halved, disabled state.
He seemed to think of himself as [i some] sort of import, giving her a peculiar look when she questioned what he was. Suggesting that he was an established species, Maleficent turned again towards the foreign aspect of him. Her eyes moved again over his unfamiliar clothing and gave a hum of disinterest towards his requisite question, asking her if she truly was unaware. It didn't matter, really, for Maleficent cared only for the health of her hold, of the place she now reigned as matriarch spirit. A land separate.
The reply look that she had given him caused the tall fairy to tilt her head to the side. Was it so insulting a question? She was only curious. For all that had twisted her spirit as of late, there still lived a flutter of inquisitive zeal within the woman's hollow body. It was what had led her to explore the lands at the edge of her realm, what had once led her to explore the visitor, inquisitive himself, who had let his human self enter the wildlands, and had ended in her wounding now. But a personal nature was harder to overcome than an emotional scar.
And now it seemed it was the stranger's turn to run his gaze over her now, glancing hither and thither to convey he wanted to know who she was. Clearly unfamiliar she assumed that he had little idea of who she would be even if she offered her name, nor of what she was. But she didn't. Not right away. All he needed to know was that he would be in danger should he overstep his bounds, a stranger in these woods.
"[#9c27b0 Whatever you are, then. Take heed,]" she said, initially conversive before she let her voice drop into a warning tone, "[#9c27b0 this land belongs to no man. It is mine to protect, and he who so ever encroaches upon it will not be long for his life.]" The woman's low voice wavered not as she held the stranger's gaze. "[#9c27b0 I am Maleficent, and you are in my dominion.]"
As she spoke the sharp green light in the stone of her staff flickered brighter and she glanced over him again, shifting back and tilting her chin up. She considered leaving him to his isolation- the touchy nature of this individual seemed as it would drain her and she cared little for more to take care of. Perhaps he would die of exposure soon enough and she would be done with the matter, or he would wander away from her borders and vanish into a brief memory. She had half a mind to dispose of him, but even in her bitterness, the fairy respected the balance of life bound in a form. And he was curious- something new, but a wary curiosity that was yet keeping her lingering there.
Her eyes lingered on his features for another moment before giving a hum of disinterest and turning to leave him, her eyes raising to Diaval again, his dark form in the canopy.
Loki couldn't help but give this woman a pointed look at her words. Who in the nine realms was this 'king Stefan' person? He could easily deduce that whoever he was, this woman did not like him, and so he gave her a quick shake 'no' of his head. Obviously this was a different realm than any he had ever seen. Back when he was still the son of Odin, and truly even know, despite it not being necessary information to him, he always knew who the rulers of each region of each realm were.
This man, Stefan, did not ring a bell, and inside, that worried him a little. If he had no clue as to where he was, he would have a hard time finding his way back.
Of course, he could always call on Hemidall, but who knew if the watcher would even answer back? They never had a good relationship, and it was even worse nowadays with all of Loki's antics.
As the woman continued to speak, he rose an eyebrow, wondering why she was questioning his very species? Had she not heard of the great Loki Liesmith? Heard of his trickery and his silver tongue? Of his treachery to the throne and great antics? Could she not at least recognize his armor?
Then again, he could not recognize her garb....
Perhaps he had fallen into a realm previously untouched, with no outside contact to the other realms? That was almost frightening, in a way. Would that hinder his likelihood of returning home?
But that brought up another though... Would it be so bad if he stayed here? Logically speaking, he could hide away here until his trickery banished him from this realm. Perhaps by then Odin's wrath would be cooled and he could come back without fear of more punishment.
The last question the woman asked took him off guard. Yes, he still had a tongue! Why was that a relevant question?
But the back of his mind happily supplied him the images of himself without a tongue, truly mute for all of eternity, and he couldn't help but close his eyes to calm himself and make that image disappear.
When he opened his eyes, he was calm once again, and he crossed his arms over his chest, raising a brow at this woman. Hopefully the tone was conveyed that he wanted to know who she was. Communicating without words was harder than he would have ever imagined, and despite it being narcissistic, he was starting to miss the silvery sound of his own voice.
Maleficent's green eyes glowed in the darkness just gently as she remained where she was, growing still as he turned towards her. But in her stillness she drew to her full height, staring him down coldly for those long moments until he shifted his weight and raised his palms to her. The cloaked woman remained still for a few more moments until she was positive that he was remaining still.
"[#9c27b0 You, creature,]" Maleficent said calmly, her voice carrying in the hush of the forested air. Her gaze remained on his steadily as he kept eye contact with hers. He had a cold harshness in his eyes, as such she could only imagine she shared. She kept her face stone calm as she considered him. "[#9c27b0 I know you cannot speak but I assume you understand me.]"
The great fairy then narrowed her eyes fractionally, "[#9c27b0 Has that filth king Stefan sent you as some sort of distraction from him? Nod yes or no.]" She watched his reaction cross his face, prepared to scrutinize him should he not answer her. Maleficent took a breath, her senses spreading about. She had not heard from denizen nor tree root that there had been movement at her borders, "[#9c27b0 What means of monster are you?]" she whispered, more to herself than him, aware that he could not answer. "[#9c27b0 Fed from the magics he siphoned from my body- is that what you are? Beast.]"
Maleficent brought herself a couple steps closer, her eyes moving over him. But she remained without range. She could feel the magic in his veins, having spiked from earlier. It made her hesitate more and linger further back. Her fingers tightened on the staff that she leaned her weight on just slightly and illuminated the green stone in its tip. The light reached its fingers towards the stranger, illuminating his features and the blood that dripped freely, running down his chin and throat in tendrils of darkness standing up against his skin before they disappeared onto his clothes. Diaval murmured meekly from his perch, ducking his head back a little and giving the stranger a suspicious eye.
"[#9c27b0 Why-]" she asked on instinct, but stayed her words, again reminding herself that the man could not answer.
Her eyes moved down again towards the stitching on his lips. Maleficent wanted to move closer, but then they dodged back to his face, watching him carefully. She wished to draw closer.
A thought occurred to her just then, curiosity swelling in her chest as she gazed at him a moment, standing straight and tilting the glow of her stone a tick closer. She blinked and met his eyes again, "[#9c27b0 Do you still have a tongue in there?]" she asked, gesturing with a long nailed finger towards her own mouth.
Loki had continued to explore his surroundings, stepping carefully over the tangled roots of a tree, rising out of the ground like fingers intertwined with one another, only to plunge back into the earth further down.
He was surprised to see strange creatures fleeing his footfalls into the underbrush. Where he was from, there were no such small creatures. Only large beasts who would charge at you and gore you, had they the chance...
But this forest seemed to be teeming with docile life, and that in itself was quite strange to Loki. The closest he could come to any sort of correlation between this realm and another would be the magical air of Aflheimr, but the realm of elves was different. The colours were different, and normally when he traveled to Aflheimr, there were elves who were there to greet him. This forest did not seem like anything he had seen on Aflheimr, and so he quickly ruled that realm out. Jotunheim was ruled out right away, as this place, although cool, was nowhere near the frigid temperatures of that realm. Vanheimr was a world with even less magic than Asgard, Múspellsheimr and Niflheimr were lands of both fire and ice, and rarely traveled to. Svartálfaheimr and Midgaror were both lands without magic...
Could he be in Helheimer? Had he died, and instead of being taken on the wings of valkyries to the halls of Valhalla, sent instead to live in his child's realm, the realm of the dead?
But he had not seen others, nor could he sense Hel's presence....
Loki did remember a time when Midgard, the land of man, had been young, and had the potential for magic, but now that potential was gone...
He was at a loss. None of the nine realms of Yggdrasil were even close to what his senses told him, and it puzzled him greatly!
Suddenly, there was a noise in the trees, and he spun to hear where it was coming from, readying his magic, but all he saw was a vague glowing shape before it disappeared further into the forest.
Sensing no threat, he let a sigh escape from his nose, and closed his eyes, trying to get his bearings.
Then he felt the stirrings of magic, the kind made by another magic user. It was faint, only just a gentle hum, the hum of magic flowing through a magic user's veins.
There was someone there!
He scanned the area, spinning around, chiding himself mentally for not being more alert, but when he finally picked out the form in the darkness, his eyes narrowed.
It was the woman again. His first instinct was to question the woman, but he realized that wasn't going to happen, as his mouth was sewn shut. He continued to stare at her, judging to see if she was a potential threat, and weighing the risks of fighting with her right now.
She had the advantage. It was obvious she knew where she was, plus he could feel her magic. She could wield it, and she had the added benefit of having her lips free of magical thread.
This would be a losing fight, and unlike that oaf, Thor, Loki knew better than to attempt to fight a losing fight. Loki decided the best course of action would be to raise his palms, showing that he meant no harm.
Perhaps if he showed he would not fight, she might have some clue as to where he was. And if she did decide to attack him in his weakened state, he knew he had enough magic to disappear and reappear elsewhere...
But for now, he held his hands up, not quite high near his face, but more outstretched to his sides, palms facing outwards, in a gesture that said 'I have nothing to hide'
The tall woman watched, pulling her collar back up underneath her chin on her slender neck. She had set herself down and had folded her hands on her staff pertly, running the pad of her thumb over the avian skull on her knuckle, long nails reflecting the light. It took some time, but not enough for the young night to flee when the raven haired stranger shifted again. Maleficent's gaze honed in on him and his activities as he did so.
Rising from his prostrate position on the ground she watched him take stock of his condition. The horned fairy tilted her head, he did not know what had become of himself? Evidence of being abandoned, perhaps? By chance he was a criminal to the human throne, and was abandoned in the wilds as punishment. She would imagine it would be, what, slander that was his punishment? Stefan was a proud man, she had come to know. It seemed that his reign was to be as bloody as his ascension, was it not?
The wounds were new, and painful, but the man seemed to have a tolerance for it the way he tore at them without so much as a hissing breath. He didn't even hum in his throat, only frustrated breaths pulled from him. A soldier, perhaps, the way he sought items on himself? The movement to his hip signified that something offensive oft laid there in wait for him. But what soldier wielded magic?
She narrowed her eyes bitterly and continued to observe, growing stiff as the color of magic was summoned to his fingertips. Green- like hers, but a softer, yellower color than hers. It made her chest tighten, not knowing its origin and fought hers from rising as if hackles on a dog. Maleficent was hidden now, and she preferred to remain as such.
He started towards the trees' edge. It was only at the heart that the energies glowed in the trees, where the light of the tiny creatures as they meandered through the air would move among the trees. It was when he moved that the little lights scattered from their places, few that were here in this reach. The wilds had many parts to its whole, the tall spired hills left in the east, the distant rumble of their falls but a low hum where they were. The woman had come a long way from her throne and home in the center this night, only to stumble upon this thing... Fortunate to notice him, for his presence was unwanted, and unknown. And now she lingered to judge him.
Under Loki's footfalls at one point, a smattering of toad gnomes* escaped his strangeness scattering their glowing pollen, their circle of fungus disturbed by the strange smell that put them on alarm. They yammered at one another as their little, humanoid bodies carried them further away and into the brush out of sight again as they fled underground. Maleficent noted his surprise and quietly rose as he moved away from her. Silently but the whisper of her cloaks, the great fairy moved to continue her observation. Diaval followed reluctantly, gliding as silently as he could and keeping his distance.
There was the grating cry of one of the larger creatures that dwelt in the forest, one of the wheeling, flying creatures that glew with the powers they possessed. Large, dragon-like beings that drifted through the air as if sprites, gently finned so that they would catch the air, bodies light and filled with air.
Maleficent but acknowledged the sound as she watched the stranger explore his surroundings. She suddenly wondered if she should conceal herself better, glancing towards her surroundings sharply. It was honestly a half formed plan for what to do with him, but the idea was still hanging over her. What [i to] do? Humans were fragile enough that his life didn't concern her should she need to take it- but she stayed her hand on that, reason being was that she couldn't figure out how a man had come across the energy. Diaval shifted above her with similar discomfort, not looking forward to being attacked again and bowed his head a bit, shifting his wings as if bringing up his shoulders defensively.
*for what I can remember of the creatures in the forest, some I may end up just sort of making up but I remember images of a handful of them and will describe them as best I can
When loki awoke once more, the air was silent, with only a few chirps of a cricket, rustle of leaves, or other such sound that rung out occasionally, as if to prove to Loki that he had not, in fact, lost his hearing as well.
Deaf and mute? That would have been something Odin would have given to Loki as punishment....
This time, there was no sign of the raven, or of the strange woman, and Loki played with the notion that it had been a dream in his unconscious state.
Gingerly, the Norse god sat himself up, taking stock of his injuries. He felt drained and tired, but his magic seemed to have replenished a bit while he was down, and he could feel it coursing through his veins, the way it should be.
Once he was confident his magic was fine, he then chose to inspect his body. His fingers ghosted over his legs, first, searching for any signs of pain or injury. Only a few bruises, but nothing more than that. Then he inspected his torso and arms, checking every inch of his body. When he got to his face, he was hesitant at first to touch his lips, but he forced his fingers to brush the coarse threads that kept his mouth shut, and when he felt them, another stirring of rage flared up in him.
Despite knowing better, he angrily tore at the thread, clawing at his own mouth and opening up the wounds in the process. All he managed to accomplish was to make his wounds hurt once again and to get dried blood under his usually immaculate fingernails.
He scowled and reached for the knife he usually kept on his belt, until he remembered that they had taken it from him when he was taken to be judged. Next he checked for his hidden blades, one on his calf, one on his forearm, and another behind his back. All gone.
Loki closed his eyes and focused his magic, creating a green glow on the fingers of his left hand. He used those fingers to press against the thread, hoping to cut it with magic. He was, of course, unsuccessful, and his eyes snapped open in frustration, searching for a sharp rock to use. When he found none, he huffed in annoyance, and then slowly stood himself up, not wanting a repeat of last time, if that had happened at all...
He was able to stand himself up and take stock of his surroundings, but that only served to puzzle him more. The forest did not have any remarkable features, but there was a certain hum in the air that confused him. It was almost like the hum of magic, but it was unlike anything he had ever felt before...
Curiously, he touched his fingers to the nearest tree and closed his eyes, to better feel the hum coursing through it's bark. He opened his eyes and then turned on his heel, bending to touch the ground.
His suspicions were confirmed. Unlike Asgard, there was magic everywhere. The ground, the trees, even the air hummed with magic.
Now his curiosity was outweighing his anger, and he was inspecting each detail of the forest around him, trying to make sense of it all.
He had stayed so still while Diaval explored his state that Maleficent had assumed perhaps, with a little thrill of relief, that he [i was] deceased. Hesitating a few moments more, the dark fairy made step towards him curiously as the raven edged nearer to the pale man's angular face.
Now the question was what to do with him? Few human bodies remained under the ground here, and she wondered if the earth would accept them, or if it would disturb its energies. But all at once those eyes flew open, Maleficent taking an instinctive step backwards back into the shade of the night with a gasp before she bit down on her shock and turned it to irritation as he lashed out towards her companion. Diaval, in his panic, squawked in fear and rightly stumbled through the air back towards her, wings a mess of movement about himself until he found himself nearer to his mistress.
At once she felt the shock of energy from him rising- summoning [i magic]? It flickered in his hand for a moment as Diaval shot towards her, stopping the fairy in her tracks for surprise before it died and he weakened to his knees. The raven cawed at her, hanging in the air by her face until she made a motion as if to bat him to the side and he dropped to the ground to hop behind her.
"[#9c27b0 Diav-]" she began, turning sorely behind herself until she felt the swell of the strangers magic again, its fettered spark, and shot a defensive, warning glare towards him, her hand out as if to shield the raven from him. But he seemed to slow himself. His hesitation did not stay the green energy that started from the stone ingrained into the top of her staff though, Maleficent's sharp eyes flashing as she readied to defend herself from this- thing.
But he fell again. Maleficent blinked, taking pause at the sudden change from action to none again. She arched a slender brow and stared down at the slumped form. Diaval poked his head out from behind her and grumbled something unintelligible, but she likely guessed it was an oath. The dark fairy edged forwards again, curling her fingers in front of her. She pursed her lips a bit in thought, looking over the willowy body underneath the strange looking garments. She hadn't ever seen anything like that before. The metalwork was peculiar, linear. She arched a slender brow at him. "[#9c27b0 Diaval,]" she called quietly, "[#9c27b0 is he dead [i now]?]"
The raven's form was at once engulfed in the black, clouded shadow of her magic as his body shifted back to human form. He edged closer, his hands folded in front of him hesitantly as he stopped some feet away and leaned instead nearer, his brows arching over his dark eyes. Humming in discomfited acknowledgement he swallowed, noting the slight rise and fall of the man's chest. "[B Ehr, no, as far as I can tell.]"
Her mouth turned downwards slightly, lifting her chin a little the tall woman giving a hum of acknowledgment and tilted her head a bit to the side. "[#9c27b0 Pity.]" But her curiosity was winning her over. Her staff reached forwards and she, leaning on it slightly, and drew forth. A human man who could wield magic? Or a fairy? Maleficent hesitated, leaning down a bit to see if he showed any sign of waking and then came closer. The weakness of his magic, as it was, hadn't concerned her and as such she summoned herself forwards to look over his back. A fairy- wingless like her? She was tempted to look closer and explore the smooth surface of his back herself to see if she could feel the nubs of torn tissues like hers. But the well fit clothing showed no sign, and her tentatively reached out hand yielded no evidence of this...
Diaval's lips shifted into an 'o' as he hesitated to speak, turning his head back towards the stranger and swallowed. "[B So- what are you going to do with him?]"
Maleficent's venom green eyes moved over the smooth back again before she drew back and considered the thick stitching that kept his lips pressed together. "[#9c27b0 A human who can wield magic...]" she said, putting both hands on the staff to raise herself back to her feet.
She blinked, glancing at the raven briefly and opened her mouth, looking perplexed as she yet didn't speak for another moment. "[#9c27b0 I'm-]" Maleficent trailed off, backing up slowly as she spoke towards the treeline again. After another moment she drew her brows above her eyes again, "[#9c27b0 I wish to watch.]" she said, raising a hand towards the creature again and refit him to his natural form. The raven walked forwards a little, slanting a peculiar gaze at the dark haired man, and then reached to find lift and join his mistress as she secluded herself amongst the brush, slipping down by a tree to sit on the twisted root in its shadow and observed.
She honestly didn't know what to think. As such, her curiosity, hesitantly, was getting the better of her- but in the back of her mind, dark distrust had settled at his combative first moments. She needed to see whether or not his spark of magic would cause her, her land or her ilk any harm. Was he some mutant being sent by Stefan to try and unbalance the realms? A slave to the bastard king, forced to work in humility. But the stitching on his mouth perplexed her- was it simply to serve the obvious purpose and keep his words shuttered? Of what nature had this occurred? COr could he by some chance be of use, even?
Loki's awakening was not instant or abrupt. At first he could feel but a small weight on his chest, and then a tickle as a bit of air brushed his face.
The first sense that came back was his hearing, although faded at first, it focused and cleared in his mind, revealing the soft sounds of nature. Crickets were chirping, singing a sad melody, and at first, Loki could not place the sounds. His mind was too groggy and unfocused. He had hit his head hard, and waking up from such a blackness, having fallen from such a powerful magical vortex, his energy was drained.
But soon his mind began to comprehend the sounds around him, and he understood the sounds closest to him, the shifting of feathers and flapping of wings. It was then that he felt them, the feel of two tiny bird feet resting atop his chest.
So it was a bird, then?
Then the rest of the feeling came to him, slowly at first, but then rapidly , bringing in the stinging pain on his lips, and in his foggy mind, he thought to attempt to open his mouth, only to instantly regret it. He let out a huff of air as he opened his eyes, startled to see that it was dark.
When he had been taken to the Allfather, it had been in the morning, not early enough to be dark, but light out, with the sun shining and making every damn piece of gold on Asgard sparkle.
He was starting to piece together what had happened to him when his eyes fully opened and he noticed the nature of the bird on his chest. A raven!
Suddenly anger flared in his chest and he sat upright, a growl forming in his throat as he gathered his magic about him, preparing to strike at the bird.
How dare Odin send one of his pets, Muninn or Huginn no doubt, to bother him! Had Odin decided his punishment was not severe enough and was summoning his adopted son to deal more?
The thought sent his heart racing, and as the bird fluttered away, he went to stand, making sure he could still hit the bird. He would love to see how Odin would react if he had killed his precious pet!
Odin probably cared more for the bird than him....
He readied his magic to aim a blast of it at the bird, when all at once he felt very dizzy, most likely a result of the trauma to the head.
His magic dissipated, and he looked down at his hand in a delirious shock before falling to his knees, too tired to stand up. Even using such a small amount of magic made him feel weak, and it upset him even more. He was powerless, and now the guards would be able to find him and bring him back for more punishment! Had he not suffered enough?
It had been a simple joke, a jest really, but Odin had punished him harshly, as he had been doing as of late...
But of course he couldn't expect anything different from the man who lied about his heritage, caged Loki's own children, and stole a baby from its crib so long ago...
By now, Loki's emotions had turned to rage, and it was as he tried to get up again, it was then that he saw her....
His first instinct was to lash out at her as well, yet he knew he was too weak to fight at this point. Perhaps she was some new person, brought by Odin from another realm, to finish his punishment...
She was certainly interesting, though. He couldn't quite place her race. He had never seen anyone like her before in all the realms he had traveled to...
As he pondered this stranger, though, he could feel himself slipping back out of consciousness, and his final thought was that perhaps he would not be awake for whatever they had in store for him...
Maleficent turned her bone pale face towards the moonlight, hearing the familiar chirrups and calls of the creatures around her, and the familiar, closer noise of the raven lingering in the trees somewhere around her. Her eyes sought the skies as if for assurance. At least they were a constant, at least they were still there when the rest of her world seemed to have shifted away from her. She had to drop her head again, feeling the protest of her yet sore back, the pain having branched through her nerves to places unwarranted. The wounds had yet to heal, and she daren't cover them from the healing breaths of air that would soon close the eyes that wept. The wounds were deeper than she assumed he realized, having wrenched out the joints that kept her wings mobile.
Leaning on her staff, the woman turned her eyes over the forest, dancing with the lights of its denizens. She breathed out quietly, feeling the prick at the corners of her eyes. Her head already ached with grief expressed earlier, but her heart would not rest. [i She loved this place so dearly.] And yet her safe haven hadn't protected her. It was a slap in the face that brought her back to reality. Of how [i foolish] she was.
Sharply, her mouth twisted in a grimacing bitterness at the recollection of what had happened. It almost seemed a dream until she realized she had lost limbs, she had lost parts of herself and was now left little more than a gimp in comparison to her former self. Hardly a fairy now, hardly a breath of wind. Now she would rely on her magics, now she would lean on her bitterness. Stefan would know the grievous err he had committed, and he would wish with his powerless, desperate zeal that he had never [i ever] had...
But she faltered, a twist of grief tightening her mouth into a thin line across her face. The raven, Diaval, fluttered restlessly near her. And so she walked, aimlessly along the well known paths she but looked down upon once. Her bright eyes were cast downward, watching where she stepped, each pace feeling the pull of torn muscles in her back. The lines of her narrow, angular face tightened as she kept going.
Her mind was taken with violence as she considered everything that she wanted to do to give her heart recompense. How many she would tear apart, how she would [i destroy] something as dear to him, she would sever him, take his mortality into her hands and twist it slowly- let him live long enough to see how very delicate he was, how insignificant. Stefan, the name uttered even internally wrenched at both strings of grief, and at fury. Maleficent should have known. Somehow she felt as if she should have seen this coming- but the shock of it yet had her reeling. And he had only done it to gain a [i title], he did it so he would rule man. He did it to further himself, so like man to take, and take, and [i take]!
At one point the tall woman had to stop, reaching out a slender hand to find a tree to shift towards and hung her head. The confusion of her emotions, all edged in bitter ire, yet left a hole yawning wide as if to consume her. Something that all of her rage couldn't fill- but she would perpetuate it as a reminder. She was tired, and she yet felt ill.
Raising her head, Maleficent let her eyes roam. She had just come upon the cusp of a glen hollow. Thick trunked trees reaching up and over the clearing to filter down the nighttime glow to dappled shadows in the soft moss and grass in the center, dotted with the little heads of wildflowers growing close to the stony ground in the layer of topsoil.
Blinking slowly, the tall fairy stood straighter, ignoring the protest of her wounds and noted the still form in the clearing. Her eyes widened, noting his form. A human? What was a human doing here- her fingers tightened on the staff- how [i dare] a human enter her realm. Her kingdom that she had closed to their ilk. Maleficent's features twisted in anger, drawing herself up to her full height and glowered down upon the still form.
He did not stir, even with her impending presence, shifting with darkened energy. Perhaps he was dead. The idea sent a quirk of amused optimism through her as she hesitated by the edge of the trees, suddenly occupied with the notion. There was the glisten of blood on that pale face, tilting her head, the fairy saw the hatched lines of stitching across his mouth. Her eyes narrowed, a man bastardized from his own people, seeking refuge in the forest? Taking a sharp, indecisive breath through her nose Maleficent took a step back, her dark cloaks whispering around her and glanced towards Diaval.
Swallowing, Maleficent gestured towards the raven haired form with a long finger. "[#9c27b0 Go see if he's dead.]" she said, eyes dodging towards the figure again. The black bird's head popped up, murmuring huskily at her. She frowned at him, "[#9c27b0 Go on.]"
Finally, he looked towards the man's form and outstretched his wings, gliding down off of the branch to land closer to him. Cocking his head to the side, the bird took a closer look before coming closer and then ducking down, pulling those wings open again, and fluttered up onto the stranger's chest...
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