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A Helpful Wizard Who Helps People

Jaguchi Jun 21st, 2020 (edited) 612 Never
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  1.     "G'mornin', friend!"
  2.     Even though the greeting had become routine the Wizard speaking was still shocked by the sincere warmth of his own voice. He was a young Wizard, one with equal amounts of wisdom and foolishness, and he carried himself with an oddly charming, hick-like awkwardness. The stereotype of the uptight, well-enunciated Order-educated Wizard bore no resemblance to him in terms of both his appearance and his mannerisms. He spoke and behaved more like a humble yet whimsical farmboy than a well-learned man of the magical arts...and yet his talent was undeniable. After all, if he had no magical talent then he wouldn't be where he was.
  3.     "Mo~rning." A great, beast-like woman replied to him cordially. Her horns scraped the upper frame of the doorway and her height was so that she had to strain her neck in order to get a good look at the man she spoke with. She was but one of many positioned around the facility to ensure that only the 'right ones' made it into the inconspicuous mini-fortress that served as the headquarters for the Sabbath sect. Heavy, almost prismatic-looking fur covered her forearms and calves and both her hands and feet were enormous, animal-like and accented with long, curling claws.
  4.     The Wizard gave a tip of his floppy, wide-brimmed hat before stopping just in front of her. He never went right in even though he was welcome to. He preferred to be more sociable than that and firmly enjoyed trivial morning chats.
  5.     "Beautiful today, ain't it?" He said as he rocked on his heels and admired a dull, overcast sky.
  6.     The beast-woman glanced up, then back towards the Wizard, then up once more. "Ah...yeah...if you say so." She rubbed the back of her neck awkwardly. "I mean...don't you and the witches prefer clear skies? Thought you used the sun and moon and stars sometimes...to uh...uh...do things."
  7.     "Sure do." He chirped. "Clouds too! And rain and lightning and thunder. All good, all usable! If it was sunny all the time then the sun would get ugly, wouldn't it?"
  8.     He got a shoddy half-chuckle in response but was fully satisfied with it. He loitered about the large woman for some time and chatted about whatever came to mind; weather, current events, the soup he'd made last night, etc. The traffic both into and out of the fort never ceased. Numerous small-statured witches and familiars and other magically potent monsters scurried to and fro. Unable to contain his own friendliness the Wizard just had to personally greet each and every one of them.
  9.     The Wizard and the guard were on a particularly interesting back-and-forth about the best times of the day to go mushroom-hunting when one of the witches (one he'd worked with extensively on a project that sought to synthesize mamono realm adder's tongue) near him stumbled. She was carrying a stack of papers (magical notes and scribblings piled as high as her torso) and they all scattered to the floor...but she didn't.
  10.     The Wizard caught her with a clumsy sort of grace, bracing her back with his arm and gripping her hip to steady her. He allowed her to catch her balance before letting her go. Flustered and red-faced she immediately began gathering the papers that had scattered; a task which the Wizard happily aided in.
  11.     "S-sorry, so sorry!" She apologized profusely while the Wizard only chuckled softly and repeatedly assured her that it was no trouble. She avoided making eye contact with him after all of her materials were gathered and she half-ran inside.
  12.     The Wizard waved after her, happy as a lark to be helpful, and the guardswoman looked at him with serious concern.
  13.     "Careful." She warned.
  14.     "Careful of what?"
  15.     "Just...careful. That was kind of..."
  16.     She trailed off and he responded to her with a laugh. "Ahhh, we're all just good friends here. Should I not have caught her?"
  17.     "I'm not saying that, just...you're really friendly and girls might get the wrong idea."
  18.     "Aw, stop. You know I'm a married man." He lied.
  19.  
  20. ---
  21.  
  22.     It had all began some months back in an Order-controlled magical laboratory. It started with a breakthrough. Noticing that mamono avoided assaulted taken men almost like an instinct he had sought to find a way to replicate that phenomenon. To be able to research and help people freely and openly in mamono-friendly areas where magic was wild and vast and storied; it was a dream.
  23.     After a lot of trial and error he managed an unusual magical charm that 'marked' him with mamono mana. He surmised that even monsters with little magical ability were somehow able to recognize those marks and that those marks corresponded with the man's wife or partner like a pheromone.
  24.     He experimented with it conservatively for as long as his patience allowed but soon he found he was thrusting himself into dangerous field-testing. The temptation was too strong for him. After being trapped in that stuffy, underequipped Order-run magisterium for long his curiously was simply too hungry. He longed to research in areas where he wasn't allowed, where magic truly had no limits in its scope and potential to do good. To learn and to help others made him happier than anything else and after just a few ventures into the mamono lands he was hooked.
  25.     His marker worked more spectacularly than he ever could've imagined.
  26.     'They're so nice to me', he thought.
  27.     Buff minotaurs who he'd expect to jump his bones at first sight would stop to simply have a chat and share a few laughs before departing with a platonic wave. Not even so much as a pat on the shoulder. On top of more magical resources than he could've ever wanted he also got a new glimpse into the shocking 'humanity' of these 'monsters'.
  28.     He ventured farther. Drawn by the wealth of magical knowledge he soon found himself in extremist territories. He developed a good reputation among the populace and soon found himself quite popular. He wasn't that strange, off-kilter young 'hayseed' of a man spouting optimistic nonsense anymore, no. He was 'that friendly wizard who helped put out that fire' after some newbie witch neglected a bubbling cauldron for too long, or the 'the cute silly married guy with the card tricks and the funny stories about mushrooms.'
  29.     He eventually found himself working hand-in-hand with one of the extremist Sabbath branches. It was an often uncomfortable atmosphere for him...and yet he couldn't pull away. The gap between Sabbath magic and Order magic was just too great. Every new piece of information he learned left him astonished, he was helping people, and he never felt happier. He'd begun to think he'd found his purpose as some kind of rebellious, benevolent 'spy' self-sent behind enemy lines not to exploit or manipulate but simply to help.
  30.  
  31. ---
  32.  
  33.     The Wizard loitered for but a few minutes more before deciding that he'd prattled away enough of the guard's precious time and attention. Still, being the man that he was, he made a point of prattling off just a bit more of before departing inside.
  34.     "Let's see, lessee now...did I mention the weather?"
  35.     She half-sighed, half-laughed. "Yes, yes you did."
  36.     "How it was beautiful?"
  37.     "Mmhmm, mmhmm...just like every morning."
  38.     "...Really?"
  39.     "Mmhmm...every beautiful morning...and it's ALWAYS a beautiful morning to you, isn't it?"
  40.     "Come to think of it, yeah! I can't recall a non-beautiful mornin'."
  41.     She scoffed. "You've seen thousands of them."
  42.     He smirked, flicking the brim of his hat as he casually strolled past her and into his 'workplace'. "And? I've seen you, what? Hundreds o' times now? Haven't gotten any less beautiful yet and ah can't imagine ya will."
  43.     "...Careful."
  44.     "Oh, ple-"
  45.     "Really. Be careful with that."
  46.     The seriousness of her tone unbalanced him momentarily but he gained all the chirpiness back quickly.
  47.     Once he was inside and out of the earshot the guard slumped forward as exhaled deeply as if a stupendous weight had been lifted from her. She grasped at her breast and heave-breathed through her mouth, furiously wiping the sweat from her forehead. A passing witch noticed her condition and commented.
  48.     "Every morning, huh?"
  49.     "I can't take it anymore." She said, strained. "I think he takes longer each time. I need to get the boss to assign me a different door or else I'm really gonna, y'know!?"
  50.  
  51. ---
  52.  
  53.     "Heeey! Hey, humie!" Some witch called out to him as he was in the midst of his morning check-ins and errands. "Boss is here! You haven't met her right? It's been a while since she visited this branch!"
  54.     'Boss?' He thought. 'There's a boss? Oh, well, of course there's a boss, how silly. Every Sabbath branch is led by a-'
  55.     The Baphomet in question strolled near him (not quite towards him, but not necessarily away from him either), flanked by a entourage of chattering witches and familiars. She was awash in a torrent of comments and questions from every which way and yet her composure was firm and she seemed to hear every word.
  56.     "Ah." Was all she said in return, acknowledging each new piece of information and answering each question with as few words as possible. "Ah. Ah. No. Ah. No. Perhaps. In relation to what? ...Ah." 'Ah' was her version of 'yes', he concluded.
  57.     She was a short thing, barely waist-high, her body completely hidden by the fluttering of a black cloak that dragged across the floor as she moved. Even her arms were completely hidden from view and the cloak was secured around her tender throat by a string and what looked to be two large, fuzzy red pom-poms. She almost seemed to glide rather than walk and yet the Wizard could hear each delicate 'tap' of her hooves.
  58.     When she was within a certain distance she stopped suddenly and quickly twisted her neck to look directly at the human in her midst, not unlike a predatory bird hearing a twig snap. Her horns were rather small and stuck close to her temples but her ears were long, droopy; they reached her small shoulders. Her hair was a dark gray mass of messy curls that shielded her eyebrows and her tiny mouth, when at rest, seemed to naturally take on the shape of a soft, inverse 'v'.
  59.     She studied the wizard with faintly luminous pink eyes for but a moment before her mouth began to curl. The edges of her lips nearly touched her ears with the crooked length of that wicked-looking grin.
  60.     "Hello." She spoke very quietly as she ignored her followers and trotted very plainly up to him.
  61.     "A-ah! G'mornin'!" He said while removing his hat. "I don't believe we've-" Met. 'I don't believe we've met' was what he was going to say and yet, mid-sentence, he stopped as if realizing how stupid and obvious it was to say. He shifted uncomfortably on his heels and he felt a terrible, nerve-rattling tension coming from the small woman's eyes.
  62.     She sniffed the air gently. Her eyes wandered briefly before they settled on his own eyes which made him avert his gaze. "...I've been told you're doing great work. For a human. Good job. If what I've been told is true then I am impressed." He voice was a faint, whisper-sounding thing and yet it filled his ears completely in a way that was almost deafening.
  63.     "Oh, well...thank you very much, ma'am. B-boss? What would you-"
  64.     "I'm not picky about titles. Boss. Ma'am. Teacher. Wise One. Lady" Her grin tightened. "Master. Mistress."
  65.     He attempted to reply but she cut him off. "Or would you prefer to address me with one of my official titles? She Who Seals The Gate, Chalice-Drinker, The Great and Terrible Amalgamater, The Architect of Flesh..."
  66.     She left it at that and awkward silence followed. The Wizard glanced nervously around the room and was met only with equally confused stares from he and the Baphomet's small audience.
  67.     "It's a shame." The Baphomet broke the silence."
  68.     "Ah? What is?"
  69.     "That you're married."
  70.     She began to pace around him and continued.
  71.     "You've certainly make it difficult for everyone here despite being so helpful. Most of my kind wouldn't notice so fervently but everyone here is very magic-sensitive. Even those...'large' beast-girls who guard the entrances? They're all Magi-Beasts." She laughed darkly. "I made them you know. I wanted muscle and magic and no one could give it to me so I had to make my own."
  72.     "Ah-...ahhhh...Architect of Flesh, I geddit..."
  73.     She acknowledged his observation with a tilt of her head but then went on. "Even most wizards, their mana is...not what it should be. Dirty...thin...like water. No good, not without us intervening. But you? Goodness, yours is so..." Her voice lowered, became husky. Her breathing became just a touch heavier. "...rich and sweet and heavy...all THICK and syrup-y and POURING off of you. Most men like you are like stagnant, dirty puddles and here's you..."
  74.     She stopped before him with an extra loud 'clack!' of her hooves, looking up towards him with such mischievious intensity that he couldn't pull his eyes away despite wanting to. "Like a...like a big, drippy, gourmet chocolate-caramel..." Her eyes darkened. "That NO ONE HERE is allowed to touch. You can see how that would be maddening."
  75.     The Wizard attempted to say something but she cut him off once more. "You could fuel this entire branch, did you know that? That's how high-quality you are...ahh, but you're MARRIED, shame...shame...what's it like? Being married? Oh, to a Dragon specifically."
  76.     He seemed confused by her knowledge so she elaborated. "Can smell it on you." She said. "Her mana, that is."
  77.     The Wizard swelled with some confidence. He didn't have to worry about inconsistencies. He'd never talked much about his 'wife' and he was certain he'd never mentioned even anything like her race.
  78.     "Difficult!" He replied with a louder voice than he meant to. "But rewarding! She's a hoarder, of course...lil' jealous, lil' possessive, but sh-"
  79.     "How come she's never been here?"
  80.     "..."
  81.     "...Answer."
  82.     "W-we have one of those...those beds. You know the ones. I fall asleep and then I wake up somewhere else."
  83.     The Baphomet's expression brightened as if there'd never been any malevolent aura to her at all. "Callback bed! Wonderful innovation. I was an advisor on that project, one of my favorites despite its simplicity."
  84.     The Wizard mirrored her positive upswing in mood, snapping his fingers and lowering his posture closer to her level. "It is, it truly is! My wife and I appreciate yer work!"
  85.     "Hm...I imagine. Pleasant meeting you."
  86.     She ended the conversation with strange, quick bluntness and yet the Wizard privately sighed in relief...until he noticed that her entourage did not follow her. Dozens upon dozens of pairs of eyes, bright and gleaming like oiled knives, seemed to stab into him with their sharpness. Unblinking...focused and leering and wild and hungry and barely restrained...
  87.     The little Baphomet opened the door to the room and beckoned at one of those 'Magi-Beasts' at the end of the hallway before speaking. "You do good work...but your mark smells like Demon, not Dragon."
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