[ P ] Maturation of the Soul

Nothing could possibly prepare Fandal for what was about to devour him as he awoke from his nap. A behemoth filled his vision from end to end, a monstrosity made up of the most vibrant colors of the rainbow, yet silent as a single leaf, falling in the autumn. And this was it, the end of him and…

Stupid butterfly.

Even after all this time, Fandal wasn’t use to his limited field of vision. Sure, his other senses became finely tuned, but when he dreamt, his sight was whole. The transition was always so jarring. To say that awakening to find a butterfly perched on the leg he laid his head on startled him, was a gross understatement.

Jumping back several feet as if his life depended on it (in his mind, it momentarily did), he breathed a large sigh of relief followed by a few short self-deprecating pants of laughter. He shook his head from side to side in relief.

It felt good to laugh, especially at himself. It meant he was healing, beginning to enjoy the little things that he encountered. In other circumstances, he would have welcomed the butterfly. At least he told himself that. But in that one moment, the serene creature painted flamboyantly by the universe seemed to be the destroyer of worlds. He could still see flying, only now as it truly is.




He supposed he knew that healing did not mean healed. Things were much brighter now, that was certain. Weeks ago he would never have seen the shades of color in the wings. Swaths of sepia or grey would have rendered any beauty of the insect void. But today there was red. Yellow. Pink. And when he was healed? Possibly magenta. Emerald. Rouge.

Unaware it was the subject of such intense deliberation, the butterfly continued its flight, darting around trees and through branches. And just as it was almost out of Fandal’s sight, it landed at the feet of someone unexpected.

"He Speaks"



The smell of pine and the musk of Springtime snow melt brought Daedra back to her youth. Her earliest memories of growing up in Mirahl - before things went south, fast... She snorted through her nose as flashes of her aunt and the torture she, Tauthe, Baol, and Amarantha had endured at her paws flashed behind her wicked green gaze. She hadn't even realized how far into the forest she had wandered until she stopped to shake off the unwelcome reverie, looking this way and that to see pine trees pressing close on all sides. _Trapped_. Another unwelcome thought, one that caused her chest to tighten momentarily and her breath to leave her in a rush.

Daedra ground sharp black claws into the earth beneath her, trying to ground herself by force, and bit into the side of her tongue slightly to give herself another point of focus, however painful. She was snapped back to reality in an instance by a flash of color, coming to land at her paws... A butterfly? She blinked down at it for a moment, taking in the patterns of its wings, before she snapped her jaws shut just inches from it, causing it to flutter away in a tizzy. “Pretty, for a pest...” she hissed, following its retreat until its path led her eyes to meet with a single pool of daffodil yellow. Her expression hardened on instinct as she watched the stranger watching her, and she allowed her lips to pull back in a wicked smirk.

“Like what you see, stranger?” she snapped, a bit more harshly than she had intended... But it mattered naught to her. She was in a sour mood - and she wouldn't be caught dead tip toeing around a strangers feelings.

“I am speaking”

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Either he mistook the butterfly for a tasty quail, or this woman was not as enthralled by its colors as he was. Her jaws snapped, nearly endings its life. Her eyes shot up to meet his.

“Like what you see, stranger?”

“I’ve seen worse,” he replied, matching the intensity of her glare. “It could have been a wasp,” he added after a beat, allowing the misdirection to land, and speeding it’s decent with a half-smile. “It startled me awake so I hope you gave it just a big a scare as it gave me.” He shook his head in obvious annoyance at having been disturbed by it.

She interested him. Her deep green eyes seemed to be vaults of jade, keeping painful thoughts locked behind them. Based on the scars on her body, his intuition hinted at what was stored there. Buried beneath those emeralds in a place perhaps she didn’t even have the combination to. She didn’t seem aggressive per se, maybe it was more annoyance. Something seemed to bother her other than the butterfly.

Something behind those eyes.

He glanced off in the direction the insect escaped and paused. “Sometimes it’s the most beautiful things in the world that cause the most grief,” he said thoughtfully. He glanced back at her with a look of understanding. Him, with his single eye, his thrashed ear staring into those jade guardians. He was certain they were emerald pools long ago. Maybe before she could even remember. Before the contents of her pain were sealed away. No one is born hard, he knew that all too well. She was a product of her world.


“Fandal,” he stated shortly while slightly lowering his head before meeting the outer wall of her gaze once again.




The man opposite her glared back at first, but as he spoke, he slowly allowed a lazy sort of smirk to crawl onto his features. “I’ve seen worse. It could have been a wasp.” She wrinkled her nose slightly and gave him a once over, not exactly sure what to make of him right off the bat. “It startled me awake so I hope you gave it just a big a scare as it gave me.” At that, Daedra's own expression slipped slightly into a ghost of a grin and she let her eyes drift to the place where she had last seen the butterfly skittering off to. “I do believe I did,” she mused, rolling her shoulders in a half shrug.

She limped forward a few steps, finding a suitable place to make herself comfortable, and sank to her haunches with her tail gently wrapping itself around her twisted hind leg. It was a subconscious habit for her to keep it covered when she sat - as if it might prevent another from noticing her injury. Daedra watched as he followed her gaze from a moment before to where the little bug had disappeared to, and then slowly brought it back to appraise her. “Sometimes it’s the most beautiful things in the world that cause the most grief." At that statement, her expression soured and she glared down at her paws a moment as flashes of Citlali's tawny fur and ocean eyes danced behind her eyes.

“Indeed...” she spat. Finall he offered a nod and a name, and she latched onto that to pull herself from the uncomfortable past. "Fandal." The small woman hummed thoughtfully, putting the name to memory, and considered him for a long moment before giving him her own in response. “Daedra. Are you one of the ne'er-do-well natives I've heard so much about?”

“I am speaking”

table made by soar - manip by claerie


She was definitely playful, and he enjoyed that. “I do believe I did,” she replied, shrugging before making herself more comfortable.

And as he spoke of the grief caused by beautiful things, for just a moment, the immovable jade guardians softened into green pools and he saw true feeling, swimming up to their surface. If it stayed too long, he knew she would flee, retreating back to the forge to temper her demeanor. Sharing his name had the effect he hoped it would, and just as quickly as her feelings took a breath at the surface of those eyes, it dove back down as the look hardened back into its protective shell.

“Daedra,” she replied. “Are you one of the ne’re-do-well natives I’ve heard so much about?”

Fandal paused for a moment and looked off to his left in thought. It exposed what remained of the right side of his face. The socket, long since vacant and the ear which had also seen better days. “Aye. And you must be one of the fabled devourer of insects and fierce warriors I’ve heard so much about. I bid you farewell.” He fired off another friendly smile while keeping a hint of feigned seriousness in his eyes.

But he knew their time together was coming to a close. Those eye wouldn't dare let him in. And that was okay with him. He had his own tale to tell. He turned and ventured off into the woods. To become the man he knew he was.


“he speaks”


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