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Cao Lixue

Character Info
Name: Cao Lixue
Age: Age Of Death 17
Alignment: CG
Race: Jiangshi
Gender: Female
Class: Former Priestess
Silver: 126
Even if it's people had disappeared their work had remained slowly, but stubbornly fading with time. While the ruins had seen better days the magic left behind remained as strong as ever. With its secluded location and abundance of magic, it was the perfect place for a magic leech like herself to train without worrying about harming others.

Finding a fairly open area that seemed to once be possible a town square by the designs and the surrounding buildings. Lixue outstretched her arms and squatted as she extended her legs one at a time she prepared a magic circle under her feet as she stood up with her legs together and her eyes closed as focused her mind and body. Expelling immense amounts of mana all around her body as she opened her eyes focused and prepared.

Sending spires of ice winding and interconnecting throughout the ruins to freeze the surrounding area. The Priestess went all out setting off explosions of frost covering the entire area in a mix of ice and snow. Feeling her hunger grip at her mind she paused to rest absorbing in all the magic in the surrounding area as mixing a dark draining arua with the white of snow as it fell all around her.

Even with the mass amount of high level magic used Lixue barely made a dent in her mana pool. With a clap, she outstretched her hands outward and forced a harsh storm of cold that covered the area in white freeze anything that had remained untouched near instantaneously. Forcing out more magic the storm would grow freezing the surrounding buildings as it passed over.
drbuck

Character Info
Name: Fenriz Tel'vanya Hallowthorne
Age: 10
Alignment: TG
Race: Vampire
Gender: Male
Class: Fledgling Necromancer
Silver: 3429
Roads dimly lit by ghostly street lamps, surrounded by dilapidated buildings of a bygone era with little more than silence filling the air. An environment like this would be to most an unsettling one. Especially those of Fenriz's age. But bizarrely the ruins of this civilization now lost to time had transformed into a macabre playground of his.

The city seemed devoid of any living creatures, and even with Fenriz's presence this was, technically still true. Although he appeared just as any other child, Fen had long since had his mortality traded in, albeit not of his own will. But in turn, this is what made Kanuri a perfect for a vampire like him. No other people. Outside of a select few who meant the world to him, other people typically meant trouble. 

But without this trouble, he was free to traverse the ruins at his leisure. He marched through the city with a wide grin on his face, tightrope walking across crumbling structures and leaping over gaps in rubble. Any time he might stumble or perhaps something gave way beneath his feet, the shadows that had grown to become trusty friends of his, would rise up to catch him, safely delivering him back to the ground. It was a strange place to do so, but he had discovered a place that at very least briefly allowed him to recover the childhood he had stolen from him.

This was until seemingly out of nowhere a portion of the city seemed to freeze over, right in front of Fenriz's eyes. Although unnoticed by the boy, the shadows around him almost seemed to stiffen, as if they were as on edge as he now was. He managed to climb his way to a particularly tall structure, surveying the scene from above. The first thing he noticed was that the frozen over area was expanding. But more interestingly, at the source seemed to be another person. A part of him disappointed, seemingly no longer having the place to himself. But a larger part of him curious. He had witnessed several magical feats since he set out on his journey, but even still, this was a new one, and perhaps the most impressive. But there was something else intriguing about them. Some intangible curiosity that Fenriz couldn't quite describe. Even though other people often did mean trouble, the only thing that could override Fenriz's caution, was his curiosity. Although unsure how at the moment, he was determined to find a way closer.

Finding another similarly high up place, this one a bit closer to this stranger, Fenriz took a deep breath, the now chilled air filling his lungs, he shouted as loud as he could "Excuse me, is it safe to come down? I don't really mean to interrupt what you're doing, but I don't want to get frozen, either"
Cao Lixue

Character Info
Name: Cao Lixue
Age: Age Of Death 17
Alignment: CG
Race: Jiangshi
Gender: Female
Class: Former Priestess
Silver: 126
Still focusing evermore on her magic covering the entire city if it meant pushing her limits. The world had gotten more populated than she remembered leaving far fewer places to truly practise without worrying about causing harm to the living and their home. Here she could go all out without worrying about a thing as the worst that could happen was damage to an already destroyed empire.

Fatigue started to kick in as she forced more and more magic into her spell as she attempted to cover everything in her wake with an unrelenting cold. Feeling her cursed being gnawing at her mind as her hunger for magic grew the more she spent her own supply. Even if she ran herself ragged and unable to control herself there was no one around to worry about becoming the victim of her own baser desires, of course until a tiny voice echoed through the blind storm of white. Immediately cutting off the supply to the spell and dispelling the blizzard revealing a frozen waste of a city. Looking in the direction of where she heard the voice she saw a vague outline of a small person that could either be a child or a halfling by the size and voice. "My apologies, I did not think anyone was around! You can come down now it's safe". Unsure as to why someone other than herself would be here as she made sure to practice in the late hours just in case there were scholars studying the ruins.

As she waited for her current company to descend. Lixue would suppress her draining aura to make sure to not harm her current company. "If I may ask what is it that you are doing out here at such an hour? Are you studying these ruins"? While suspicious of the person they did not seem like an enemy as they announced their presence instead of using the element of surprise. Continue to stand in her magic circle and at the ready as she waited for her company to meet her.
drbuck

Character Info
Name: Fenriz Tel'vanya Hallowthorne
Age: 10
Alignment: TG
Race: Vampire
Gender: Male
Class: Fledgling Necromancer
Silver: 3429
As soon as he was given the go ahead, he made his way his way down from his perch, molding in and out of the shadows, almost as if teleporting between them. Although he was capable of climbing down naturally, whether he chose this method because it was easier or because he wanted to show off was anyone's guess, Fenriz's included. Lastly he appeared on the ground near this icy mage, stepping out of one of the shadows cast by the road lamps. Fen allowed himself to move just close enough so that he could notice a bizarre circle at this person's feet, although he made sure to keep outside of it.

"Well I…" he stammered, attempting to figure out how he was going to answer her question. The truth was, of course, late hours were the only time he could be out. But someone of that power, if they turned out to hate his kind, there would be little he could do to defend himself. Playing it safe seemed to be the best bet for now. Unfortunately, having not really expected to run into anyone else here he hadn't exactly prepped an excuse beforehand.

"You could say that. I'm actually here looking for something and stayed out a bit later than I meant to" he explained with a nervous chuckle. It was a half truth, as he was searching, although searching for someone rather than something. But even in these lands that he had never been to, he didn't dare mention who. For now, he would have to hope this explanation would suffice. 

"But what was that? That thing with the snow and ice! How did you do that?" he asked. It was partially an attempt to abruptly change the subject, but also more so what he really wanted to talk about. Even after his own abilities had begun to manifest, he couldn't help but be mesmerized by people with any sort of magical inclinations. He marveled at the wintry landscape that surrounded them before turning back to the caster that had made it that way "Can you do any other cool stuff? I can do some magic too, wanna see?"

Without waiting for an answer to any of these questions, a small hand was raised, directing it at the lamp post he had step out of earlier. The shadow it cast began to twist and turn until it molded into the shape of a small bird. It hopped around beneath the ground, two dimensional as one would expect a shadow to be, before bursting out into the real world, taking on a third dimension in the process. The avian silhouette took flight, flying passed Fen's present company before circling around, peacefully landing atop his head. He giggled, allowing it to remain there before turning his attention back to the other guest of these ruins.

"Neat, huh?" he said, a proud smile splayed across his face. His powers weren't much right now, but for the time being they were enough for him.

"Oh, my name is Fenriz by the way. You can call me Fen, if you want" he went to extend his hand, but paused when he was reminded of the strange circle she stood in. "I-Is this thing safe? You're not trapped in there are you? Do you need me to go get help?"

As he awaited her response, he took this opportunity to examine his new friend. There was still something about her that was nagging at him in the back of his mind. The most striking thing about her was the pale skin. Certainly he had met pale people before, but there was only one type of person he had ever met that had a complexion like that one, and he was one of them. Perhaps rather than hating his kind, she was on of them. But unlike Fenriz, who's eyes were shimmering and brighter than your average person's, her's were dull and gray. It was very perplexing. Still, he couldn't help but help but feel there was a possibility. Whether he wanted it to be true or not, was of course a complicated matter, but it was a mystery that needed to be solved either way.

"Miss, have you ever heard of vampires?"
Cao Lixue

Character Info
Name: Cao Lixue
Age: Age Of Death 17
Alignment: CG
Race: Jiangshi
Gender: Female
Class: Former Priestess
Silver: 126
Following the stranger's movements, as he fused into the shadows reforming himself by a nearby lamppost. Now that she had gotten a better glimpse at her interrupter it was safe to say that the boy was human, not a halfling. However, he had unusually pale skin along with equally usual eye and hair colour. While the Priestess did not want to make assumptions it was very likely that the boy that stood in front of her was no boy at all.

Listening to the boy stumble through his words as he attempted to answer her questions. Unsure whether the boy was recently turned or just a very good actor she waited for him to answer with a calm and inviting expression. "Is that so? you should be more careful of the time as who knows what lurks in the night around here". With how bad the boy was at lying it was clear that he had recently been turned for some sick sort of pleasure from a sire unaffiliated with any clan of note as turning children is frowned upon. Shifting to magic as he attempted to change the subject while showing his excitement about the subject. Lixue would have answered him, but the boy was going a mile a minute making it impossible to answer the questions one after another as she then gave an example of his own shadow manipulation in a very playful and childlike manner. Though it may seem to be simple child's play, the boy had great control and formation for someone so young. As he looked to her with a proud smile she applauded his performance, "You have impressive control for someone so young, you must have had a good teacher".

Introducing himself as Fenriz he went to outstretch his hand but stopped just shy of her magic circle. His concern about fears about the circle left a smile on the Undead's face as the boy was no monster. Taking hold of his hand Lixue guided him into the circle letting him feel the coldness of her touch. "Thank you for your concern Fenriz, but this is of my own make". Letting go of his hand the circle bolstered his magical power. "It's something I developed for tough fights. It not only enhances magic but reduces the cost as well". As he basked in the benefits of the circle, Lixue bowed slightly "Since you shared your name the least I can do is share mine. I am Cao Lixue though Lixue is fine".

After she introduced herself Fenriz asked an interesting question. "Of course though why would a young man like yourself ask about something as dangerous as that"?
drbuck

Character Info
Name: Fenriz Tel'vanya Hallowthorne
Age: 10
Alignment: TG
Race: Vampire
Gender: Male
Class: Fledgling Necromancer
Silver: 3429
Fenriz's lips curled into a bashful smile at the praise. Given what she had just done it felt like particularly high praise, at that. Although Fenriz enjoyed the compliment, he did have to point out one thing.

"I don't have a teacher at all, miss" as he spoke, he lifted a finger to the shadow bird, who changed perches on command. He brought it to his face and smiled, before sending it off. It dove back into the ground before morphing back into the shape of the lamp as it was before "I had to learn all of this on my own. At first a bunch of weird stuff started to happen on its own, just like that. But eventually I learned to control it!"

The tone in his voice was still mostly one of pride. In regard to his shadowmancy, he was very happy with how far he had come. But there was a detectable trace of sorrow in his words. Getting to even this level of control had taken a fair amount of work, and there were more than a fair share of… regrettable moments before he had gotten to where he was. Worse still, he couldn't claim to have complete control of his power. Although they certainly listened to any command that he gave them, the shadows still seemed to have their on whims and wishes. They still had a tendency to act of their own accord, and the end result wasn't always good for Fenriz.

A chilling hand was placed in his, leading him into the mysterious circle. Although nervous, not entirely convinced of its safety, he didn't resist. Closing his eyes as he crossed the threshold, he braced himself for some sort of deadly burst of magic, or horrible curse to fall over him. Yet, no disaster befell him, in fact quite the opposite. Standing inside the circle made him feel powerful, like he was capable taking on anything and everything. Even the unruly shadows that usually restlessly danced in his presence seemed to stiffen in respect to the temporary power Fenriz possessed.

Deciding to put the circle to the test himself, he surveyed the surrounding area, focusing on every shadow source he could find. Raising both hands, waived them about, as if conducting the shadows themselves as they all began to morph. Much like before, the shades transformed into the shape of birds, though this time there were many, about a dozen black, soundless birds of various size. Without a word, he instructed them to fly around the circle in which they were standing. The boy marveled at his own work, giggling childishly at the torrent of birds that cycled around them, before commanding them back to their homes. He then turned his attention back to the one who had allowed him this power, all the while grinning wider than he likely ever had before.

"You made this thing yourself? How did you do that? Do you think you can teach me how? What else can you do with it?" he asked, high expectation clear both in his expression and tone, seemingly forgetting that he was the one who had started showing off before she had ever been presented with the chance.

Though impressed with the circle, something struck him as odd about the experience. True to her word, it seemed at least while he was within this circle, he was capable of so much more than usual. Even what she said about cost was true. Normally a display like that would have left him feeling drained, so much closer to succumbing to that darker side of his, but despite it all he felt just fine. But it did raise some questions. Calling Fenriz's knowledge on magic limited would be generous, but even still he had never heard of it costing anyone anything to use it, save for himself. Extended use of his abilities caused him to crave blood at an accelerated rate. Surely she couldn't know anything about that, unless of course, his suspicions were true.
She introduced herself with a bow, a custom that Fenriz had only seen once or twice before. To the best of his ability, he attempted to mimic the action "It's nice to meet you Miss Li-Lixue"
Even her name was strange to him, stumbling in his attempt to even pronounce it. There was something, perhaps even a lot of somethings, different about the person he just met, and he was determined to find out.

Unfortunately, his first attempt to deduce these mysteries had not gone the way he wanted. Instead of answering his inquiry on vampires, she turned the question back around on him. Taken aback, he attempted to collect himself as he explained.

"Well… I think I saw one on my way here. He had these weird eyes, and really pale skin, almost like yours" stated Fenriz, so lost in crafting his lie that he forgot the he too possessed similar pigmentation "You said yourself there might be dangerous stuff lurking around here at night, right?  My mom always said vampires can only go out after dark. I was hoping you could tell me if that guy was one of them, so I can look out for him when I leave. Mom said vampires are the scariest things to come out at night, and I think we'd want to avoid that, right?"
Cao Lixue

Character Info
Name: Cao Lixue
Age: Age Of Death 17
Alignment: CG
Race: Jiangshi
Gender: Female
Class: Former Priestess
Silver: 126
"It's nice to meet you as well as Fenriz, you were close as it is two syllables". Slowly sound out the letters she would start off slow. "luh-ee-sh-wey, lee-shwey, li-xue, Lixue". Allowing Fenriz so time to adjust to attempt to pronounce her name, but not too overly worried about it as the boy did not appear to be from anywhere close to her home.

Listening to Fenriz stumbled around his lie was adorable. "Really? Skin like mine and strange eyes that does sound like the description of most vampires'". Playing the fool, for now, Lixue would listen to Fenriz's concerns about this nonexistent vampire. "It is true most monsters and beast tend to hunt at night, and in the case of vampires, they can only move freely at night in most cases. However, it is doubtful that this person is a vampire as most tend to stay nearby and hide among their food source. If it is a vampire it is most likely a lesser vampire. While still quite dangerous they are no more intelligent than a beast as they are driven only by their hunger though you would be able to tell if it were a lesser vampire as they are more monster than man". Putting her past knowledge as an Exorcist to use as she had dealt with vampires before. Like demons they can either be very weak or very strong, however, their cunning is far more of a danger.

As fun as it was to speak with the child, he was still a vampire. If he had met her in the past she would have killed him without even a thought, but living as a cursed being herself showed that with dedication and a strong will one can overcome their dark desires and retain their humanity. "Though your mother is quite right, it would be best to avoid such a being, however eye colour and skin pigmentation are not enough to go on". Looking into Fenriz's eyes with her dull grey eyes that seemly absorbed all light that reflected off of them. "Did they have beautiful crimson eyes like your own"? Slowly verbally backing the boy into a corner focusing the conversation on his true nature."Did they have sharp fangs like yourself?.. Or did their mana hold the touch of one cursed"? Still holding her small smile and calm demeanour as the Priestess should no ill will towards Fenriz as even though his mana held a curse it was pure and untainted showing that he has yet to succumb to his thirst. "It's not very polite to lie, but I can understand as I've withheld the truth as beings like ourselves are not thought highly of due to the actions of the majority".
drbuck

Character Info
Name: Fenriz Tel'vanya Hallowthorne
Age: 10
Alignment: TG
Race: Vampire
Gender: Male
Class: Fledgling Necromancer
Silver: 3429
Her description of a lesser vampire sounded eerily familiar. Although every time he came back to his sense he never had any recollection of the events in question, from what he had been told the last time it had happened, it was almost exactly what it was like when he lost control, those brief moments when vampire managed to overtake child. Fen couldn't imagine what living in such a state permanently must be like. Despite his own feelings toward his vampiric half, he couldn't help but feel bad for these so called lesser vampires. It also served as a staunch reminder that he would have to seek out his next "meal" before long.

Nonetheless, this confirmed one thing. Lixue certainly had a lot of knowledge on the subject. The habits that she described matched his own to an uncomfortable degree. Still, he was determined to see what more she knew. Little did he know she was determined to get more out of him as well. Although he thought little of it in the moment, by the time her eyes met his, she had already knew more about him than he realized.

Complimenting his eyes caught him of guard, so he was not ready for the dread welling up in his stomach when she commented on his fangs he usually tried so hard to keep hidden. It would seem he had fallen prey to his on hubris. Showing off, and subsequently impressing himself with his own talents caused him to get careless. He had no idea what she meant by cursed mana, but it only added to the growing list of concerns. All signs pointed at the jig being up. Yet, despite having seemingly uncovered what he was, Lixue still wore a smile on her face. Noticing this, the tension slowly eased out of his body. If she did see Fenriz as a threat, she was doing an excellent job of hiding it. One thing, one phrase in particular however caught his interest the most.

Beings like ourselves. Maybe, just maybe, his suspicions about her were true, too.

"I'm sorry Miss Lixue, I shouldn't have tried to lie to you" He turned his head, no longer daring to look her in the eyes. His arms crossed behind his back, almost radiating the demeanor of a child being scolded "But it's just like you said. I've met a lot of people that don't like vampires. They say vampires do all kinds of horrible stuff, and a lot of people seem to hate me for it, even though I've never done any of that stuff! At least, not on purpose.."

He trailed off at the end, momentarily losing himself in his own thoughts before being snapped back to the situation at hand by a sudden realization. There was another lie he had to come clean on. Fen turned his head back toward Lixue, although guilt wouldn't allow him to look her in the eyes.

"I-I should tell you, I'm not really studying the ruins either. I'm actually looking for my parents. The Hallowthorns. You probably heard of them cuz you're a vampire too, right?" He asked. It would explain a lot, after all. Especially how she knew he too was a vampire, as every other one of his kind he had met before seemed to know. It was an ability that even he seemed to possess too, although in this instance he wasn't sure it was working properly. There was still something off, something different about her that didn't match up to the others he had met before. "Does that mean you have "cursed mana" too? What does that mean anyway? Are we sick? Should we find a healer? I know a healer, you know. I bet she could help us!"

The smile that had returned to his face was the same prideful one from before, although this time it was pride in someone else's abilities rather than his own. Even still, it was the same toothy grin that had exposed him in the first place.


Cao Lixue

Character Info
Name: Cao Lixue
Age: Age Of Death 17
Alignment: CG
Race: Jiangshi
Gender: Female
Class: Former Priestess
Silver: 126
"Apology accepted". While it was clear by his actions that Fenriz was just a child who had been recently turned, though it still did not mean that he was not a threat. However, the boy at least deserved a chance to explain himself as if Lixue could hold her hunger at by so to could Fenriz with the right direction. Keep her friendly demeanour as the boy broke eye contact as the guilt for his actions overtook him while explaining the reasoning for his actions. " It's true many vampires do forgo their humanity and treat the living as mere cattle, often time growing more depraved as simple feeding is not enough. However, there are those who fight against the curse refusing to feed until their thirst overtakes them causing them to harm their friends and family. I've also heard of vampires who prey on animals, One, in particular, feasted on rats which in a way helped reduce the spread of disease". Thinking back to that moment in time, she should have spared that one, but her teachings and fear of punishment guided her actions in her past life. Once she heard that Fenriz had lost himself to the thirst and more than likely killed, Lixue expression shifted just for a moment as she clenched her teeth. Her first reaction as always was to rid the world of the boy as he was just like rest a blight upon the world. However, the Former Priestess collected herself as she herself had lost herself to her hunger before and was in no place to judge Fenriz as he was only a child she could not expect someone so young to be able to fight forever as it is their nature to feed off life.

Seemly lost in thought over her past and about her many mistakes that were justified as righteous in the past as both of them lost themselves in their own thoughts. Even though her training and life had shaped her thoughts and actions, the actions were still her own. Even if she rid the world of true monsters, as Lixue had murdered innocent creatures under false pretences. Looking to the vampiric boy before her as she thought on what to do as perhaps her return to the world was a punishment with Fenriz acting as yet another chance at writing her wrongs. "Even if it was an accident it was still done by your own hand. You can feel remorseful, but that won't change what you have done. Only actions and a desire to do better is the only way to produce results".

Even with her forgiveness and words, Fenriz still looked away as if guilt still racked through his mind. I thought that would have helped, it always helps me when I feel as if I've erred. As Fenriz spoke up revealing his lie Lixue did not think much of it as she had already forgiven him for lying as she knew as the boy was even worse than her at lying. Mention the family name came up blank in the Undead's mind as she had no knowledge of the newer clans, but Fenriz's assumption that she was a vampire caused a short laugh to escape from her. Placing a hand over her mouth as she collected herself, "Sorry to disappoint you but I'm not a vampire". Opening her mouth and showing her teeth to show proof to Fenriz before continuing. "Now about your clan I've never heard of them as my knowledge of the present is limited, to say the least ''. For Fenriz it was probably for the best that Lixue did not know about his family as the Undead would no doubt wipe out his clan as she did not think most of such creatures especially ones that turn children.

Still not done with his questioning, Fen seemed concerned about Lixue's past comment about his mana. "I doubt you could find a healer that could treat an undead as light magic tends to not agree with us, but to answer the question yes in a way. Vampirism is a curse a very strong one at that, not something that can be cured through simple means". Keeping the cure to herself for now as she was unsure if he was looking for his clan to kill the one who cursed him or to live among them. Going back to the boy's first question as it was a bit more complicated. " The world is covered in magic and almost all beings hold magic, mana within them. It was one of the ways I could tell what your true nature was as I can see and feel your mana as, unlike a vampire who feeds of blood I feed off mana or what some would refer to as the soul. I can tell a lot about a person by their mana as the way a person lives actions and thoughts change their mana. It's how I could tell that you have not fallen to your baser needs".

As Fenriz's smile had returned, Lixue's smile had been replaced with a blank stare as the woman was judging him deiced on whether or not she could with good conscience let the boy go as if she did anyone harmed by him would be her fault as well. " Fenriz, why do you want to find your clan and what will you do when you find them"? Dispelling the circle beneath them as she no longer needed as the boy was no match for her with or without the circle, but if she had to kill the boy the circle would make the fight last slightly longer.
drbuck

Character Info
Name: Fenriz Tel'vanya Hallowthorne
Age: 10
Alignment: TG
Race: Vampire
Gender: Male
Class: Fledgling Necromancer
Silver: 3429
Whether she realized it or not, she gave the boy a lot to reflect upon.

"It's true many vampires do forgo their humanity and treat the living as mere cattle, often time growing more depraved as simple feeding is not enough"

Fenriz wasn't certain what she might be implying, what more a vampire might want. He was pretty certain however that he didn't want to know. Either way, this did not sound like him in the least bit, for which he was thankful.

"However, there are those who fight against the curse refusing to feed until their thirst overtakes them causing them to harm their friends and family"

This, however did. Granted, the first time wasn't a refusal but ignorance. But ever since the first time, ever since "the incident", it would be a lie to say he hadn't had a handful of close calls. It would also be a lie to say he hadn't lost control since that moment. And yet, despite this there had been moments previously he waited perhaps a bit longer than he should, trying to hold out until he didn't have to subject a friend or conscious participant through the ordeal.

The most devastating emotional punch came from explaining that his actions were still his own, whether or not he meant them. The violent aftermath of the first time was still seared into his memory. One of the few things that helped him cope with this was the insistence from those that knew the story that it wasn't his fault, and there was nothing he could do about it. This translated in his mind to him not needing to take responsibility for it. But maybe Lixue was right? He certainly desired to do better, that much was without question. But was he really doing enough? For now, he could only ponder.

A visible pout took over Fenriz's face when she revealed her fangs, or rather lack thereof. He was so certain that she was a vampire. But that of course raised the question, if she wasn't like him, if she wasn't a fellow vampire, than what exactly was she? He couldn't exactly tell, but he was certain the answer wasn't human. But more importantly, and perhaps more disappointing was the revelation that she had no idea who his parents were. Which meant, just like that, he was back to square one.

Listening attentively as she answered his questions revealed quite a few things, although  one could tell by the look on his face that he didn't quite understand all of what he was being told. But her knowledge and control over this mana as she called it seemed impressive. It also seemed like cheating. It seemed a little unfair that she was able to ascertain so much about him, given what little he knew about her. But more importantly it turned out he was cursed, or at least his mana was, although it seemed like this at least was something the two of them had in common. She referred to the both of them as undead, a phrase he had occasionally heard people use to describe vampires, but he much more associated the word with those who had quite literally returned from the dead, raising out of the ground much like they had back in the Plains on Canelux. Had Lixue died around here, and had just recently once more been given life?

Before he could ask the question, she asked one of her own. The why was pretty easy. He wanted to find his parents because he missed them. Because he wanted to share the stories of the time they had spent apart with them. He wanted them to see how much he had grown, and be proud of how much he had accomplished. The what, however, was something that he hadn't really given much thought to.

"Well, Miss Lixue" he began, placing a finger on his cheek while staring at the sky above as he tried to put thoughts into word, blissfully unaware of her intentions behind asking "I suppose once I do, we'll go back to doing the same stuff we used to do. We used to travel a lot. Mom and dad often told me that they had to meet with certain people, or do certain things, although they never really told me who or what they were. If I asked they just told me I was too young, or that I would know soon enough. I did hear my dad talking about some sort of plan once, but I didn't really hear many details. I think now that I'm a little bit older, and now that I've been on my own a bit they might tell me some more stuff"

Realizing he was getting slightly off topic, he placed a hand on his chin, trying to refocus his thoughts into an actual answer "I imagine once I find them, they'll want to go back to moving around again. They did seem pretty busy most of the time. But I wanna tell them all about the neat stuff I've done, and introduce them to all the cool people I've met. Maybe you'll get to meet them too, Miss Lixue. I bet you'd like them a lot. They knew a lot of magic too, although they didn't show me anything like this"

Fen turned around, gesturing to the vast field of ice that still surrounded them before once more facing Lixue Taking a step closer to her, he looked into her eyes, head tilted slightly to the side "You know Miss Lixue, you're the first person to ask me that. I had never really thought about it before, but I guess we have a lot of catching up to do once we do find each other. But you have to know what that's like, right? I've never met someone who doesn't have a family before. Can you tell me about your family? Were they also undead? I can tell you more stuff about mine, if you want"

A friendly smile graced Fen's face as he awaited a response. If the child had any inclination about Lixue's conflicted feelings for him, he certainly didn't show it. No, to him she was both a font of potential knowledge about the world around him, and a mystery he was determined to solve

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