(( After this, unless you think of something, I'll be taking a break to recharge my creative batteries. ))
As she left, Rowan watched her form walk towards the stairs. When she stopped, she would see Rowan inside his room with his hand on his door, half closed already. He smiled some, an honest one, as she told him her name. "I know your name, gypsy girl. Consider it my personal name for you, Aisling. You're welcome." He then slowly closed the door until she could not see him anymore, waiting a moment and listening for the sound of her feet descending the staircase. After he was satisfied with the silence, Rowan turned back to his bed. He cautiously approached it, the box that lay with latch towards him, sitting beside the discarded pillow of his. The leocorn reached out his hands once he got to the bedside, picking up the box and unlatching it. Slowly he opened it, a green, pulsing light poured out of the case lined in dark velvet. He scowled, looking at the object that hid in the box. His ears flattened and his eyes grew an intense golden glow. With the same hand he unlatched the box with, Rowan reached in and picked up a shard of glass, blood stained the edged of the diamond-shaped shard. The light seemed to pulsate from the inside of the mirror, and inside the mirror reflected back a beast's eyes as bright a gold as Rowan's own. The eye inside was different, however, as the pupil was slit and a dark ring rand around the outside; white fur surrounded the socket which should have reflected Rowan's skin. A vibration came from his throat, a very low growl as he did not want to alert anyone who may be near by. As he continued to hold the shard, his nails would grow and blacken like claws, the hair on his knuckles grew thicker and longer like fur, but that is where it stopped. After a few moments, he felt the light and the reflection in the looking-glass was too annoying and replaced it in the velvet-lined box. As he latched the carved-wooden box again, his claws would retreat and his hairs shrink back to what was. He held the box in both hands, the fading claws deepening the tick marks on the side of the hand that held the shard, then replaced it in the hiding spot beside his bed. For a while he thought to himself on it, then sat on the bed just staring out the window. After which he would exit his room and continue the rest of the day doing what was needed to be done around the estate, all the while avoiding being seen any further today by anyone.
The day would pass on uneventfully, and while the fireflies twinkled among the gardens in praise of the stars, Cera would make her way up to Aisling’s room and give the door frame a gentle rap-a-tap-tap before sliding in past the curtains. Finding the gypsy girl reading in one of the smaller lounging chairs, the petite creature that was the proprietor of the estate crossed her arms and tapped her foot. “I hope you enjoyed your little exploration today…” She said with a subtle smirk, her eyes twinkling as the other girl looked up with a sense of shock in emerald eyes. “…yes yes…I know what happened, dear…as that is my private little area that you and Rowan happened up earlier.” She then reached over and pinched Aisling’s cheek, the girl looking still a bit astonished, though unappreciative of the gesture, Cera simply giggled. “I have to thank you so much for testing my security system for me! The looks on both of your faces was absolutely reassuring that the program looked and felt as real as I had hoped it would!” She then gave the stunned gypsy a big hug, her rear wiggling with excitement over the earlier events. “Though I was a bit disappointed that you two didn’t turn it into a romantic novel kind of adventure.” She added with a pout.
Aisling was completely astonished about it all, and blinked in utter silence for the longest while before hearing the tail end of what Cera had just said. “W-WHAT?!” She pulled back from the hug and refrained herself from flat out slapping the midget-esque woman; her face turning a deep red. “Why the…?! Who do you…?!” She stuttered, unable to complete a thought in her own mind with how bewildered she felt about the whole ordeal! And this woman wanted it all to turn into some sappy romance novel?! Her emerald eyes blazed as she stared the strange creature down…huffing through her nose as she tried her best to compose her thoughts.
Eventually, with a deep sigh…she closed her book and placed her hands on her lap. “I appreciate the room that you have made up for me. Never before have I ever felt at home…but don’t you dare get it in your head that anything so grotesque will happen between me and your employee.” Aisling flatly stated before her face started to calm down. “And if you don’t mind me asking, why the secrecy and security systems…as extreme as it was?! Why not simply prevent people from finding the doorways in to begin with?”
While Cery and Aisling were up in the gypsy's room, the groundskeeper was tending to the various shrubs and flowers around the buildings. He currently was looking after a particular patch near the edge of the trees, just outside the second house. He had tried to take a nap after revealing a bit of himself to Aisling, but all in vain as he could not sleep. The effort had only made him sleepier.
As a result, the leocorn missed the shadow lurking near by. He simply yawned and went about his way, watering the flowers with the hose. His ears flicked, the sun shone on him warmly, and his golden eyes staring blankly at the ground.
That is, until the sound of something unusual snapped him out of his trance, just in time to save his skin! A sword suddenly came swinging towards his abdomen but was dodged at the last second. The leocorn gasped, nearly falling over himself as another swing almost took his arm off! His golden eyes looked to the attacker, but all he saw was a flash of brown and gray fur before he had been knocked to the ground, right into the wet flower bed. The hose was running still to the side, he made an effort to grab it and swing it's heavy metal head to the attacker that stood over him. Metal clashed and the head of the hose was sliced off, water gushed over Rowan as his 'weapon' turned into a useless rubber rope. "Who are you?" he asked in a growl, trying to get himself up in the mud. The attacker stood before him, peering out beneath a furred hood, connected to a furred vest of brown and gray. Wolf pelt, it seemed. They said nothing, but gripped their saber and readied another attack. Rowan was quick to get up and dodge another slash to his upper torso, lunging forward to knock the attacker down. His attempt failed and instead was kicked in the side quite hard and staggered. The attacker lunged at him again in which Rowan made a drastic last-resort kind of move. He lowered his head and lunged forward himself, allowing the blade to cut the skin on his side, his horn then acted as his own blade to attacker's face! His hands went to grab the attacker to stop any dodging, where as the attacker's free hand went for his throat.
A womanly gasp was heard as Rowan's horn scrapped along side what he thought would be his attacker's cheek. The hood was also pushed back and fell to reveal the head of a woman, hair wavy and light, a fresh cut on her upper cheek. Her bright orange eyes staring right into the golden ones of the leocorn. They both struggled in each other's grip and soon both would break and take staggering steps back. "Who are you and what do you want?" Rowan growled, a vicious tone in his voice. The woman furrowed her brows, seemingly observing every detail of him. Especially she noticed his red blood, as she recalled unicorns did not have red blood and this confused her. But that horn... what else could he be? She scowled and tightened her grip on her silver saber. "Are you so oblivious to your own bounty, unicorn? Though, I must say you are the strangest unicorn I ever did see... out of the two I have seen." She spoke in a usual tone, like speaking to a barkeep, though with a most unusual accent. Her vowels seemed heavy and drawn, she rolled her Rs.
Rowan let the growl intensify, "I am not a unicorn. I am a leocorn."
"A.. what?" She seemed surprised, confusion mixed with her scowl as they continued to stand off by the flowers.
There was a twinkle in Cery’s eyes when she sensed that something was amiss…and for once, not having to do with either one of the many secret passages she had. The fireflies that glittered about in the night sky seemed to rise up from the gardens below and swarm around her…and the strange, petite little creature that she was seemed to pause and listen to them. “Ah…” She hummed for a bit before they dispersed and went along their way. “This is not good…” She purred, before looking to Aisling. “It is time that you earn your keep around here, good lass.” She instructed with a sly smirk. “There is a bounty hunter who threatens your boyfriend’s life…and considering the type of bounty that she is after, I will be unable to help until I can learn more about her.” While she wasn’t sure if it was purely unicorns she was after, or anything that might have mystical blood running through their veins, Cery wasn’t about to risk finding out only to have her own horns removed. No…she usually preferred to learn more about the potential threat before conducting a full onslaught of attacks…
With only those words, she stepped out the door and immediately trotted up the stairs to the roof to get a good view of what was going on…using the telescope she had set up there.
Aisling glared, her nose flaring at the misconception that Cery insisted on believing…that Rowan was her boyfriend. Far from it! She bounded out of her room to give chase of the lithe little creature…only to not catch a sound as of where she had gone off to. She cussed beneath her breath in Gaelic before grabbing her hat and headed towards the hall, down the stairs and into the sculpture room. From there, she could see Rowan facing down some woman with a sword. Checking to reassure herself that her revolver was still tucked in the back of her belt, she raced down the flight or two of stairs and came out through the open air kitchen. “Oi!” She cried out as she leapt down the stairs of the split level patios towards the two. “What’s going on?!”
Both persons would snap their attention in the direction of the loud gypsy girl. Rowan glared at her, holding a defensive stance in the standoff between him and the attacker. A little blood shown on his horn in the moonlight, as it got so late without him even realizing it, and his gold eyes began to glow. "Go away, Aisling." He growled at her.
Meanwhile the attacker gave a smirk-smile and lifted her saber defensively. "So, you're girlfriend's here to rescue you?" she sneered sarcastically, "I won't be letting you go that easily, unicorn." The attacker said, shifting her stance, her agate-colored eyes going back and forth from Rowan to Aisling.
Rowan snapped his head back to to the attacker, his glare steadied on her form. "She is not my girlfriend, I would never choose a mate like her." His voice was deep, the lion-like growl ever present, "AND I AM NOT A UNICRON." He shouted at her, obviously irritated. "Oh, right right a.. what was it, leocorn? That's a new one." She scoffed, leaning her head to one side in an almost mocking sort of way. Rowan only proceeded to bare his animalistic teeth and keep his unwavering stare at the elven woman in front of him.
Her eyes widened as she listened to the two converse, learning what it was that the woman was looking for. “You think he’s a unicorn?! Are you that daft?! Just look at him!” Aisling said as she gestured towards him. “A unicorn’s horn is straight, not curved like his! His ears look more like a lion’s than that of a deer or horse, and the color of his hair is all wrong! And not to mention his eyes! Just look into his eyes and tell me whether or not there is an ounce of purity in them! Do you seriously think that if a unicorn was in forced to be in his form that it would look like…like HIM?! NO! It would look bloody 10x more beautiful and majestic! Not to mention that his hair would be pure white, and there would be nothing but kindness and tenderness in his eyes! And I highly doubt they would be as golden as a feline on the prowl! Even the way he stands in defense! You obviously don’t know your mystical creatures like you think you do, ye stupid cow!” The whole time she was pointing these features out, she had nonchalantly made her way closer to Rowan, effectively putting herself between him and the elf’s blade.
Both Rowan and attacker seemed, well, stunned at the outburst of the gypsy girl. They actually exchanged glances at each other while she ranted. The cow comment though, well that earned Aisling quite the evil glare from the elven woman. "Who are you calling a piece of livestock, ya little piglet!" The woman shouted back, a terrible scowl on her face. "Seems like your little girly here is a bit neglected, should give her more attention." The elf said to Rowan while secretly looking him over again. he didn't seem like the typical unicorn... but she had seen a few, and the description the girl blurted out was utterly wrong. "And who are you to know a unicorn, have you come face to face with one? Do you have a scar by one of their horns? I'd think not, you've only heard tales and never seen anything, haven't you? Think before you speak, you make yourself seem dumber than you look." The elf scoffed out, shifting her stance again, asking Rowan do the same to keep the same distance. The elf's eyes stared at Aisling, the orange glow piecing as if she saw past any illusion or bluff. The leocorn, if Aisling cared to look, was quite furious in the face behind her. "Do you not.." he started in a low voice to the gypsy girl, " know the MEANING OF 'GO AWAY'!?" He shouted, reaching out to grab her by the collar of her jacket with mean to throw her behind him. It wasn't the negative comments about how Rowan looked that ticked him off, but rather that she was putting herself in a fight that did not involve her. "She is right, however her description bad, that I am not a unicorn and that should be a bit more obvious... though in this form compared to their disguised form, I may look very similar." He said a little less angry to the elf. The elf then in turn stared at him and furrowed her brow. "You... you're not just trying to slip out of this, are you? But you look so close.." She became a little quieter in her voice, then lowered her saber. "Las." She said, then her eyes flashed a bright red, and slowly faded back to the agate color before. A small look of surprise came over her face, then changed into stony stare. "I see." The elf said quietly. It was now Rowan's turn to relax his stance and give an odd look. "See.. what?" he asked hesitantly, then glanced to Aisling whom he had almost forgotten about. He cursed in his mind about throwing her, knowing he'd probably pay for that later by Cery...
“Just because I don’t go around trying to kill them doesn’t mean I ha-GAGH!” And she was yanked in mid-sentence…tumbling expertly as Rowan got her out of the way. “Your boss told me to interfere, you bloody git!” She barked back, helping herself up and patting some grass off of herself. “And by the looks of it, I did a pretty good job!” She pointed out while crossing her arms. “If I hadn’t distracted the lot of ya, you both would probably be in some accursed epic battle over a complete misunderstanding, and then I’d be forced to take up your duties!” Not that Aisling actually worked there, but Cery did say that by interfering she would be earning her stay…though it did make her wonder just how often she would have to do a Cery asked…”And at least pigs are smarter than cows.”
A brow rose at the strange flashing going on in the elf’s eyes…and gave Rowan a shrug when she noted him glancing at her.
The elf brushed Aisling's comments aside and simply turned away from them, holding her saber at her side. She didn't bother to tell the leocorn what she saw, as it wasn't his concern and would only be an obvious statement. But as she turned to the woods from where she came from, she halted suddenly, lifting her head some to notice the trees. They were not the same trees she lurked in just a while ago. They didn't even smell the same.
Rowan, meanwhile was irritated by both woman and sighed ruffly at Aisling's proceeding comments. He couldn't take it and slapped his hand over her mouth. "You're too loud." He told her in a warning tone, his eyes making it seem like he would have gone for her neck if Cery didn't favor her so. Why did Cery tell her to interfere? Was he viewed as being so weak in this half-human form? the thought of which made his eyes flash in anger once again, the hot-headed leocorn. "I'm not so daft as you to think I would have let it get that far, there is an obvious tell-tale sign the elf saw before you got here." He said a little hushed, and Aisling would only need to look at his bloodied shirt to know what he meant - that is, if she knew what he meant. Not more than a second after that, keeping his hand on Aisling's mouth to quiet the gypsy girl, Rowna turned back to see the elf halted. "If I am not who you are looking for, then leave. Now." he commanded, obviously not seeing what the elf saw. "The trees..." she said in a hushed voice, "This is not the forest I came from." her eyes searched the trees, the bushes, the leaves, the branches, none of it now that she noticed was the same. And how did it get dark in such a short time? An hour hadn't even passed! She was at a loss for words, this was not something she was familiar with. Just what happened here at this odd estate?
“That’s because they are different trees…from a different time and era in this land’s history.” Cery said as she stepped down the stairs of the split patio. She had been watching all the time, and only now determined it was a good time to come down. Especially now that the bounty hunter was no longer in the fighting frame of mind. She was four feet tall, now without her platform shoes to make her any taller, wearing nothing more than cut-off jean shorts and a tank top…her hair tied up in some complicated style…just for the extra flare she usually preferred to have.
“This estate…my estate, is forever locked in a bubble of chaotic, wild magic. It transports us back and forth in time without warning. I am sorry to say, Miss Hunter…but you won’t be able to return to your home era any time soon.” She explained.
Aisling froze when Rowan clasped her mouth shut, and when Cery made her appearance, tugged his arm down so she could breathe without having to inhale his natural animalistic cologne. She otherwise didn’t say a word, glaring at the leocorn a bit before slowly inching away…
The bounty hunter blinked, her face still showing q bit of shock, the moonlight making her wide-eye look all the more apparent. Turning, she looked over at Cery, rising a brow and tilting her head at the sight of funny little creature, but growing ever more shocked at the explanation. "A.. different time? This area.. I knew something was odd, but it's a jump-bubble? Krosis!" She cursed in what seemed to be an odd sounding language. She sighed heavily and looked up at the sky a split second before putting back her saber on her side belt. "Can you control it? I need to get back to my time." She said, her voice a bit panicked and angry at the same time. Her took a few hurried steps to the little creature, though the hunter only stood about a foot and five inches taller, her wavy hair flowing over her shoulder and mingling with the wolf-pelt vest she wore over a dark brown top.
Rowan looked over at Cery, then to the bounty hunter, then to Aisling whom he gave another glare at as well. He decided it was no long his problem and started to walk away himself. It wasn't his fault the woman didn't heed her instincts and stay away form here, nor that she was now stuck here. He only hoped Cery would show her to a room and not make him do it. He huffed and shoved his hands in his pockets as he started off to the other side of the estate. "We're all stuck." He said lastly before turning away form them all.
Cery shook her head. “No. No one can control wild magic, dear.” She said with an apologetic smile. She had a way of using and manipulating the magic, but wouldn’t fully reveal all that she could do with it. Being able to force the estate to appear at a specific time wasn’t one of those abilities. “For now, all I can offer is food and shelter, while you wait for the estate to return to your time period. If you’re lucky, you’ll return to it just minutes after when you left it…and no one will be wise to the fact that you left.” She said with a big grin and a wink.
“Why don’t we head into the café, and my chef can make you something comforting to eat while we go over your room options!” She suggested, gesturing towards the manor house that was behind her. “My name is Cerynitis Shi, at your service!” She chimed, bowing eloquently towards the elf.
Aisling climbed over the railing to bypass having to wait for the estate owner and the bounty hunter to get out of the way of the stairs. She…for the most part, was going to head back to her room for the night.
The elf was at a loss for words, her expression falling and her eyes looking down at the grass in thought. That is, until Cery made mention of the cafe. She hadn't eaten yet that day and planned to buy a nice meal after turning in the unicorn, but that wasn't about to happen any time soon it seemed. The elf nodded, recomposing herself and nodding. "I am Saewves. A hired bounty hunter.." She said, though giving the funny little creature an odd look. Room choices? Why did she offer Saewves any hospitality at all after mistakenly trying to kill an employee? It was such a odd decision, but the elf wasn't about to turn it down. She looked around one last time with her orange eyes before following Cery. Silently she reached up to the amulet hung around her neck and whispered to herself "Merdia, proless cei." It seemed to be almost a prayer in the old language.
Rowan sighed into the night, wondering how he got into this mess. He still hadn't the faintest clue who sent him here, who that woman was in the mirror... who this elf was that attacked him and why. His mind was wondering and it began to give the leocorn a head ache. He had completely forgotten about the slight wound on his side, as well as the blood on his horn, but felt he should look for a book to read to keep his mind off of thing. At such a decision, he made his was into the second house's libraries in search.
“It is a pleasure to meet you, Miss Saewves! I am truly sorry for the inconvenience you must endure in having to stay here, but I promise you that you won’t get bored!” As Cery noted how the other two left, she gestured for the elf to come closer. “Especially with those two about! They’re just too adorable, don’t you think? I’m having the most fun keeping them in and out of mischief! I haven’t been this entertained since the circus got lost in my estates for a month!” She giggled quietly, before ushering the elf to follow her up the stairs to the main building.
Once inside the café, she let Saewves sit wherever she pleased before a painted waiter came up to the elf’s side and offered her a menu, bowing politely, silently, before fetching her a glass of water with a slice of lemon. “Please excuse my silent servants…some of them aren’t fully painted yet.” Cery explained.
Saewves blinked, looking in the directions the two went before Cery went on. "That's your only entertainment here...?" She muttered, then smirked at the though. "How interesting." She said as her lips curled more. Saewves seemed to be almost enchanted by the estate. The way it was built, the odd architecture, the people, and the atmosphere. She felt a pressure on her, but it was brief, then they entered into the cafe. It was cozy and charming, something Saewves was not found in often. She chose a random seat a table, then stared at the half-painted servant. She was so intrigued that she almost didn't take the menu. "Uhm, thanks.." She said quietly, not sure if it could hear like it couldn't talk. Looking over the menu, Saewves almost couldn't decide on what to eat, then looked up to Cery. "Cerynitis, what are you exactly..?" She asked, looking over the odd little thing. The horns, the short stature, the odd number of digits on her hands, Saewves never saw anything like it! Her brows raised once in realization of how that might have sounded coming from the woman who almost killed a leocorn. "I mean that in no harmful way... I don't kill merely for sport, just when hired to.. find someone." She explained, trying to put it in a simple understanding.
Meanwhile in the lowest library level of the second house, Rowan was quietly away reading some fantasy book of Gaelic fair tails. He wasn't sure why he picked that book, it just sounded like a good read. He was sat in one of the arm chairs, the lamp next to him the only light on as no one else was there and it was nighttime. He held the book in one hand, the other placed just on the arm rest, one foot sat upon his knee in a comfortable sitting pose that most men do. He was becoming engrossed in the current tale of a changeling, successfully putting the day's events out of mind until later.