Submission (#4050) Approved

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Submitted
30 October 2021, 03:34:17 EDT (2 months ago)
Processed
31 October 2021, 02:53:23 EDT (2 months ago) by lawlie

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"Sure is empty in here.", Aiza remarked, biting a baked sweetgrass wrap as she looked at Seren. The large vespire sat across from her, at a dinner table the size of a boat. The candles at the centerpiece flickered, the light dancing off the old Victorian styled walls of the dining room, casting sharp shadows around the two. Tall, arched, dirty windows peered high over the table. At the end of the room, a marbled doorway sat, opening into a dark hallway.

"It's too bad St. Asphodel couldn't take this job."

Aiza continued, chewing.

"She is a busy spirit ambassador after all. But hmph.. Why did it have to be a ghost?" Seren grumbled, scribbling down her observations from earlier. She had been writing since they entered the house; note-taking was always her first step in investigations.

"So you believe in them?" Aiza perked up.

"Yes."

Aiza casted a mischievous glance. "Are you afraid of 'em?"

"No."

"Uh huh.. sure." Aiza grinned, and the vespire groaned, her golden eyes rolling upwards.

"Don't get any ideas, Aiza…"

A jolly voice interrupted the two, and a tap on the window pane outside. A gray, handsome adult vespire smiled kindly at them from outside, their light gray eyes soft with worry. He wore a battered but elegant ruffled shirt with frayed cuffs. His hair was tucked back into a neat long ponytail.

"Will you ladies be fine tonight?... I know it can be daunting to stay in my old house overnight… If you want, we can call this off."

Aiza confidently shook her head. "We'll be fine, Wesmond! It's our job to free the spirit trapped in this house!"

"Yes… Begrudgingly. You'd be surprised how many calls I'd get to do spirit faring. Ghosts are in some way magical anomalies… So I can't exactly decline."

Seren added, puffing a trail of smoke, shuffling her notes.

"We'll find the 'spirit' and get it what it wants and free it from this plane of reality. Pain-free."

Wesmond blinked, surprised of their nonchalance and then nodded. "Ah.. I see. I greatly appreciate your help. I really do wish I could go back in… But you know, with the spirit and all…."

He motioned with his claw. "I hope you understand." The two nodded.

He then gave a sad, nostalgic look at the house. The three storied place creaked and swayed slightly in the wind. Its Victorian complexion pointed outwards like stretched arms. The head of the house rose above the trees and its windows were boarded up haphazardly. It was caked in old, rotting wood and moss. Wesmond's eyes embraced the house's features, casting a fond look. "...This house means a lot to me. I don't live in it anymore but… I remember playing around it with… "

He stopped and shook his head, his eyes looking down. Then he gave them a smile and then turned to leave. "Ah, look at me, chatting away. Well, I will leave you two to it. I won't bother you with an old vespire's tale. Good luck!"

Before Aiza could ask him to stay and tell him the tale, he was already gone. The orange pouflon blinked, tilting her head.

"He didn't look that old."

"Hm. Don't underestimate how long some vespires can live." Seren shrugged.

...

Hours had passed since their supper. The two walked down a dusty, web riddled hall, barely lit by the two lanterns they each carried. Deep shadows laced from the gothic ceiling awnings and wall columns as they slowly passed.

"Anything yet?" Aiza asked wearily, inspecting the floorboards.

"No."

"Think the empty attic is where the spirit hung out? It's creepy up there."

"Searched thoroughly. Nothing."

"Maaaybe we can try the dining room again?"

"Shh. Quiet now."

The vespire's ear twitched, picking up a light sound somewhere.

"..."

"..."

"...Man this is tedious!"

Seren lost the sound, and she gave Aiza an irritated grumble.

"SHUSH!"

"Woops.. Sorry."

"..."

Aiza looked away. Then, boredom spread across her face again, and she opened her mouth.

"So what do you think is up with the smoky smell in the house?"

The vespire groaned, tail and ear twitching in annoyance.

"I'm going to patrol alone. One last time", the black vespire stated. The two entered an empty room, and she pointed to the middle of the room. "Stay in there and wait for me. Try to find clues in it."

"But--." Aiza protested. "Nothing is here."

She glanced at Seren. "Are you sure you'll find anything out there alone? We patrolled the entire house like three times already. It's like nothing is here."

"You're disappointed?"

"A little."

"This is a ghost. A trapped spirit. It doesn't show when you want it to."

"Maybe it just wants a chat? It could be lonely here."

"Aiza.. It's not like a pippet or person. It's a thing." Seren sighed.

"Hey, you never know!…" Aiza began to wave at the walls of the room, circling around. "Yoo hoo, spirit! How's the weather?"

"We're inside."

"Oh no! How is it going to get it's vitamin D?!"

"It's dead."

"I'll help by opening this window!"

"Aiza, it's nighttime!!"

Seren facepalmed, giving a side glance at Aiza. She threw a pouch of salt at the pouflon. "Draw a circle around the room and stay here. Perhaps if I go alone, I will draw the spirit out and we can see what it wants."

She also narrowed her eyes.

"And stay quiet."

"Aww.. Okay.." Aiza pouted.

The large vespire trailed down the dark, creaky hallways of the house, almost blending in with the deep shadows of the wooden walls. It was silent, save for her heavy steps, and she breathed an air of calm. It was the first time she had a moment to herself since they entered-- and while she was usually fond of Aiza's accompaniment, she was beginning to become irritated from all her chatter. They had circled the house thrice, all the while with idle talk, despite her shushing the pouflon constantly. It made it extremely hard for her to get any sound--or any clues as to the spirit's presence. Most of these "ghost calls", ended up in very mundane solutions, and she often found the "ghost" to be cinnawyrms in the wall or hyperactive chiropons. Going alone and being silent was the way to go with these calls, as the pippets were very shy. Aiza's incessant chit chat seemed to drive whatever was here away, and Seren was finally relieved to get back to the quiet.

Alone, she trailed along the staircase, gently making her way downwards, looking at the ashen walls, which seemed constricted. They were barren, and she made out where picture frames used to hang, now just dark circular spots.

The house itself seemed normal enough, though extremely old and weathered from existence, and if anything, it felt lonely. It was an empty place. Most rooms had nothing, no paintings or pictures placed anywhere, no coats hanging, no logs left over in the fireplace…. nothing. The house was even in a secluded forest, a little ways off from the road, its closest neighbor being a farm in the distance.

Seren pitied it, really. But she felt a strange kinship with the house, having been a lone traveler herself for a decade or so.

She too had been secluded, seeing the world with no one beside her, in her carriage, often hearing only the quiet of nature, and rarely, the chatter of passing strangers. The wind whistle, the rivers splashing, the carriage creaking... It suited her, she thought. The quiet, the nothing.

Of course, everything had changed once Aiza joined her on her journey. Gone were the peaceful days and nights of hearing dancing trees and soft riverflow-- all replaced with the high pitched, talkative pouflon's voice. Asking her this, and that. Redundant, boring, basic questions on how things worked. Since then she still struggled to get used to the replacement, and often missed her lone travels. Seren sighed, taking in the sweet soundlessness around her.

Silence….

...

A skittering sound crossed the floor.

Seren smirked. Ah, there was the culprit. She knew there was no trapped spirit. Again it was a trapped little critter.

This was why she hated ghosts. It should have been called pest control, really.

She followed the skittering, making her footsteps lighter, slowly inching after the scuffling noise in the wall.

They got louder, more scratch like, as if trying to break through plaster.

She hovered her claw over where the sound was, and prepared to breach the wall.

But the sound stopped, and she froze. It was silent now. Seren pressed closer to the wall, ear almost touching it.

Her breath was the only sound.

Silence.

Then, something scratched her back, something sharp. She jerked away, eyes wide, heart thumping.

A roar erupted next to her ear. She jumped, and swiveled around.

"AIZA!"

She glared at the orange pouf, who stuck a tongue out cheekily from behind, illuminated by the lantern.

"Boooo! Heh!"

Seren stepped back, heart still thumping. Her eyes shot daggers at Aiza. "Asphodel's spirits! I told you to stay in the room!"

"I got ya good didn't I? Hehe!"

"Hilarious. Now go back. This could be dangerous!"

"Nothing's happen yet, are you sure? I can just tail behind and see if I catch anythin'!"

"I'm serious."

The vespire turned around, sighing at where she last heard the critter. She was so close. Her tail twitched in annoyance, her eyes narrowed.

"Geez alright, I'll go if it makes ya happy! No need to grump it up."

Seren turned slightly, enough to see the pouflon go back up the stairs. Aiza waved casually, giving a cautious, guilty smile.

"Sorry, I was just bored.. I'll go back and try to find clues in the room or somethin."

Then, she was gone, and silence returned to the area. Seren let her shoulders sag when she let her breath out. Her heart slowed again, but she groaned with heavy annoyance. Now she'll have to find that critter again…

But the soundlessness returned. No more chatter, just the house breathing and creaking ever so softly.

A relieved smile crept across her face.

Silence….

Again, how she missed it.

She scaled along the hallway wall, savoring the light creaks of her footsteps and the gentle whistle of the winds outside. The lantern gave a tiny squeak as it tilted in place while she went along, and the fire on the candle gave a slight crackle. She could almost hear her own heartbeat, and she closed her eyes, enjoying the moment.

Then, the skitter sounded again, this time farther up ahead, and the vespire whipped her head towards it.

Aha! She tailed after the sound, as quietly and as swiftly as she could, her shadows leaking into the dining room, where it fled to...

[to be cont. in next submission]

---
1250 extra words (+10c)
additional charas (aiza, wesmond) +2c
seren detective calling badge +1c
aiza foodie badge +1c
--
total extras: 14c

two characters owned: Aiza, Seren --> 2 will o wisp pots

Thanks! c:

Rewards

Reward Amount
Will-O-Wisp Spell 2
Coins 17

Characters

Thumbnail for Pouf-1135: Aiza

Pouf-1135: Aiza

Reward Amount
Thumbnail for Vesp-130: Seren

Vesp-130: Seren

Reward Amount

Add-Ons

These items have been removed from the submitter's inventory and will be refunded if the request is rejected or consumed if it is approved.

Item Source Notes Quantity

teadino's Bank

Currency Quantity