Other Fanfic Silence is Purple

Started by Palamon June 29th, 2022 12:05 PM
  • 904 views
  • 17 replies

Palamon

Has sent out Pikachu!

Age 25
he/him
Snezhnaya, Teyvat.
Seen 7 Hours Ago
Posted 1 Day Ago
7,320 posts
13.5 Years
Hello and welcome to...

Silence is Purple. This is a Genshin Impact fanfiction about an OC.

BEFORE READING: Chimera OC thread, Chimera Lore Thread Naofa's narrative acrostic poem

DISCLAIMERS AS FOLLOWS:

This is an alternate universe fanfiction where the Traveller doesn't exist, or didn't wake up. However, the canon events still happen as though the Traveller does exist, however, you do not need to know the Genshin story to read this, as this is not about the main story. It just takes place in the world of Genshin Impact.

Some lore has been adjusted, slightly. Since the Traveller does not exist in this alternative universe, characters with a Teleport Waypoint Proxy Map can teleport using Teleport Waypoints. TL;DR: The Tsaritsa hacked ley lines and used Snezhnaya technology to create devices to allow Her Fatui to be able to teleport anywhere in Teyvat. (Some are around in other places, though). But this isn't canon and applies to my fanfiction only. It wouldn't be fun if Siorc had to get everywhere by boat, that's why I changed the Teleport Waypoint Lore a bit.

Sumeru, Fontaine, Natlan and Snezhnaya are written from a speculatory point of view. I wrote these before they were made playable by Hoyoverse.

A majority of my main ocs are LGBTQ+ AND I WILL NOT TOLERATE ANY SORT OF PHOBIC COMMENTS TOWARDS THEM.

Chapters will be added after my friend beta reads the rest of what I need to publish, and there will be a side story thread in the future as there is about 20+ of them. This is technically a 46+ chapter fanfiction.

None of this was written in chronological order. I wrote everything as it came to me! So, if some chapters feel "awkward" or "out of place" some of them were written at some point before the other sections. I apologize for this.

All the poetry is acrostic poetry. Which is poetry hiding secret words in the margins. So, I encourage readers to look at the first letter of every line in the poetry at the beginning of each section that has one.

---


This post will serve as the table of contents and sign language glossary.

TABLE OF CONTENTS
Section 1
Section 2
Section 3
Section 4
Section 5
Section 6
Section 7
Section 8
Section 9
Section 10
Section 11
Section 12
Section 13
Section 14
Section 15
Section 16
Section 17


SIGN LANGUAGE GLOSSARY

Potato

Onion

Map

The canon characters references

Spoiler:
"The hooded boy:

The brunette:

The Acting Grand Master:

Palamon

Has sent out Pikachu!

Age 25
he/him
Snezhnaya, Teyvat.
Seen 7 Hours Ago
Posted 1 Day Ago
7,320 posts
13.5 Years
1. Kojote's Story, Her Children, Her Family - Acrostic Poem

"It seems my brother, Tigre, has met a nice young lady.
Now that we're getting older, I guess we should think about settling down, really.

Teyvat is a vast world full of humans, and in-between.
Here, in this world, we are one of the in-between variety.
Each of us in my family are chimeras, an anomaly.

We appear human, although
Our DNA is anything but.
Relatively it has been this way in my family, for I believe, half a millennium.
Likely, or so I believe.
Do not recall, I have only been told once in my seventeen years of living.

Oh, it seems, my brother is asking, if his girlfriend has any brothers,
From the look on her face, it would seem she does.

Tigre's girlfriend, Leib. She said she would introduce her brothers, to my sister, and I.
Even though the introduction is coming, I'm still not ready for the next step in life.
Yes, yes, I'm still young, I still have time.
Very few people in this world fall in love immediately,
And I am not different, really.
They are coming by tomorrow, I suppose I should get ready for this meeting.

The day has arrived, the brothers have come by.
Hues of green hair in front of my sister and I.
Easily filling my parents requirements of keeping their tradition alive.
Right, in this family, our bloodline remains the same.
Even as the years go on, our hair and eyes, they remain purple and green.

It is a tradition within our family,
Sameness; traditions. Keeping everything the same as always.

The brothers, Hart and Hirn, they seem like nice young men.
Well, my sister, Leoa, four years my senior, she is
Eyeing Hirn. I will not interfere.
Now, I suppose, I will introduce myself to Hart.
To be honest, I am not ready for this relationship life.
Yes, I am still young, I hope starting off as friends would be fine.

Cannot believe what is happening, my brother,
He is already considering marriage.
It has only been a mere three months,
Marriage, that is certainly too fast, well,
Even so, he does seem happy, who am I to question the world of love?
Really, I am enjoying the slow build of forming a friendship, a bond.
Ah, it seems, my sister has also abandoned the slow path, as well.

Family, marriage, babies, I suppose Tigre just wished for it early.
As from the looks of it, his wife, she is expecting.
Maybe everyone's pace in life is different, he has two years above me.
In a mere three quarter of a year span, I will be an Aunt.
Life really goes by at you fast, as they say.
It will only be a matter of time before my family of chimeras grows by one.
Even so, will my brother's wife accept it?
She is human, we are hyenas in hiding.

After all, I have heard the stories,
Love ending when the truth was revealed,
Love ending when the child's tail appears.

This does not seem to be the case for my brother, and his wife.
Right, it seems, I am not giving their love credit,
Yes, she will stay, I am confident she won't leave.
It is only a matter of time when the first child in the
New generation will be born. The months are moving.
Guess love will prevail in the end, if she stays.

Though, I am still afraid for my brother,
Once their child's brain is revealed. Will she stay? Our bloodline's brains, they are abnormal.

Brains with predator animal centers,
Lobes full of danger, if they were to turn on.
Every day, I pray, my brother's happiness will remain.
Now that the birth of their first child draws closer,
Divorce is a scary possibility.

It is why I am still taking this slow,
Now, at the moment, Hart and I, we are merely friends.

Well, friends under one roof, my parents are strange.
It seems they want us all to be together, inside our hidden house within this domain.
Together, within this hidden world.
Here, in different speeds of relationship growths.

So, as the months, pass, we grow closer, as mere friends only. And now,
Our family grows by one. My brother's baby,
Coiote. It seems she has a coyote brain, like me.
It seems to be the most common brain to cycle to within the family.
Even though her daughter isn't fully human, Leib, is happy.
That is a relief, she plans on staying.
Yet another chimera joins this world, and now, Leoa and I are aunties.

But time moves fast when there is a baby.
Ultimately, she is two now, Coiote.
The world is moving, swifter, faster.

Hirn proposed to Leoa
Everything within the world of time is accelerating.
Relatively quickly, as Tigre's wife, she is
Expecting. The second child is coming.

In a mere matter of months,
Soon, I will be an aunt to two.

All and all, I am still here, moving slowly. Still not proceeding.

Though Hart says he will wait for me to be ready.
At the moment, I am not.
Life is moving all around for everyone but me.
Everyone is fast, I am slow.

Out here, proceeding with caution.
Fear of losing. So, I for now, remain unmoving, unchanging.

The second child, Deigr, has joined this world.
Her name means tiger, just like her father,
Each day, it is moving swifter.

I'm soon going to be the only one that remains here
Now Hart and Leoa, they are getting ready.
Getting ready to leave this domain, join society.
Now every day I hear the names Monstadt, Liyue.
Each day, they move one step closer.
Soon, they will be gone, to expands their families further.

Helping them leave, pack their things, I say goodbye.
Yes, perhaps, maybe it's time I accelerate my life.
Even so, Hart, will he want me?
No is a word that is within the realm of possibility.
All I know, is I have certainly caught feelings.
So many, three years aplenty.

I'm ready to ask him. Even if
No is the word I hear, it is time I get moving.

Hart said yes, he said he'll have me.
I'm as happy as any twenty year old could be.
Do not know what will be in store for me, but I will take it slow for now,
It is the only speed.
Now, I just need a job within the Teyvat society,
Guess it is time to get hunting.

The world of jobs is hefty, not being a Vision bearer, my options are not lengthy.
Hunting is going well, though, my sister Leoa, is helping. But,
I'm an independent woman, and she has her first baby. My first nephew, Nathair, the snake brain.
So my job hunt within Mondstadt walls flies solo, for the time being.

It seems a flower shop is hiring,
So for now, this business will have me, I hope sales will be skyrocketing.

This job may not be like my boyfriend's interests, but flowers are nice, gorgeous, pretty.
History, and flowers are in entirely different worlds, but he accepts me.
Every day, I am living happily.

The days are passing, another year is upon me.
Really, I am still not ready. Hart remains my boyfriend.
Utterly, time is slow for me, but my sister's and brother's lives are moving.
Each year, the family grows, I have a second nephew. Varg, the baby with the wolf brain.

For all the time moving, I am still proceeding slowly.
All and all, though I am worried. My
Boyfriend, will he leave me?
Life this slow, does he find it boring?
Every day I worry, he'll say we need to get moving.

Could be any day now, the pressure of time will start eating.
Hart seems patient, though, I guess I am over worried.
Right now, all I need is Mora, and to be ready.
Overwhelming myself will lead me nowhere.
Now is the time I should focus on
I'll be ready when I am ready.
Cannot rush without a plan,
Life is an unpredictable phenomenon.
I must not rush, I cannot speed.
Nothing in life should be rushed, guaranteed.
Going slow is the only way for me to go, really.

The days are moving all the same.
Here in this letter in front of me, Leoa is expecting.
Right, her second child, time certainly is moving.
Each day for now, I remain crawling.
Each day for now, I remain moving slowly.

It's amazing, though, five children whom will call me auntie.
Nieces, nephews, all partial hyenas.
Guess seven years is nothing.
Notoriously, time is still going.
Each days keeps going.
Soon, maybe I should accelerate.

Meeting my newest nephew, Pira, time is accelerating.
Every day, I'm a little Mora closer.
Every day, I feel a little more ready.
The time to move out, maybe soon it will be upon me.
I'm sure Hart will say yes, when I'm ready.
Never does he rush me,
Guess he truly is the one for me. I feel a sense of ease.

The world continues moving,
Hart and I are working hard,
Every day is busy.
It seems my parents want us to go, leave the domain, but I am still not
Ready. But Mondstadt, its atmosphere, it is intoxicating.

Perhaps, soon, my time will come. But
At this time, I am not ready. Mora is not infinite.
Readiness is not here with me.
That is how it is, the world should not be rushing.
Nattering to my mother, 'I promise I will go when I am ready,'
Even so, as a chimera, the world for me is frightening.
Really, if my limbs transform in public,
Something bad will happen within society, surely.

Life keeps moving, every day.
Even as I make baby steps, my brother's family is growing.
Another baby has been born, I am now Strix's auntie.
Very soon, there will be another, as my sister is expecting.
I'm near financial stability,
Near a Mora level Hart and I can live happily.
Guess I can accelerate time a little, finally.

How time flies like a bird, Leoa's final child. I am now Lewod's auntie.
On this day, I now feel ready.
Marriage bells, I think they are calling me.
Every day in the society of Teyvat, I am ready.

Getting a ring within Mondstadt's outdoor jewelry store is
Easy. Hart, he told me purple is beautiful,
Today, I will get a ring,
There the box is, it is in my hand.
I'm ready, to accelerate time, slightly.
Nearly, the time is upon me. Asking him to meet me under a large tree.
Getting down on one knee, I ask, 'Hart will you marry me?'

Marriage, matrimony, it seems, he was thinking of asking as well.
Amethyst ring on my finger, we were thinking the same thing.
Really, I couldn't be happier,
Really, truly, he is the one for me.
I'm ready for my life to slowly accelerate.
Each day, I am preparing for the wedding.
Day in, day out, the day is nearing.

Soon, the day will be here.
The wedding. It is a mere week away.
And like my parents want, I will keep the Ingne name.
Right, it is chimera law. The women keep their blood last name.
Though, Hart is fine with it, he is a purveyor of history.
I'm happy, traditions are important to me.
Now, the day is here.
Getting ready, for this wedding of secrecy.

Family is coming, we enter the marriage domain.
At the altar, we say our vows.
Marriage, matrimony. We are now husband and wife.
I'm now moving forward,
Life is proceeding.
I'm ready to find places to live. It will finally be time to leave.
Every day, Hart and I traverse Teyvat.
Searching for the perfect area, Mondstadt is calling him and me.

Bringing myself near a forest,
Ultimately, the land has spoken to me.
Turning to my husband, we both agree.

On this day, we ask around if housing is possible,
Now, some man named Goth,
Evidentially said he would commission someone.

Springvale, soon a new house will be built.
Even if it is a lot of trouble, I thank the Archons.
The house will take awhile, but it will be done.
The house will be hidden amongst the trees, but this area, it is the one.
Life is moving, the days are going.
Every day, the house is getting closer. Each
Day, our home is getting closer.

Dozens of paint layers, the outside is near its final stages.
Onward to moving day. Tigre comes to help with my belongings.
While we do so, he nudges me, 'took you long enough, Kojote.'
Now, I know I took this slow, but slow is steady.

For the moment, our marriage is slow, but I am
Already feeling it. Hart, I want to have his child. But I feel a
Relative amount of fear, the world of mating with a chimera is not easy.

So many chimeras have turned their partners into one of them,
Looks like it has not happened to Hirn or Leib, but could it happen to me?
Ordinarily, if my husband becomes a chimera, will he leave me?
Will he still love me?
Even I am not sure, I've heard chimera and human divorces are likely.
Right, taking things slow is how it should be.

Time is moving. But, I am still not ready.
Hart, he told me when I want a child, it is up to me.
At the moment, neither of us feel ready.
Now a year of living together without the rest of family. Time is going slowly.

Time is moving. Another year is passing. I think I'm almost ready, but
Hart, will he still love me?
Even now, I fear he will not when I tell him, so I need to prepare everything.

Opening my mouth, I take a deep breath. I tell him,
The chimera in the room, 'Hart, you might turn into a chimera if we mate, is that okay?'
He looked at me, smiling, 'It just means I'll be more like you, that's fine with me.'
Ears perking, I cannot help but cry. This man, he truly is the one for me.
Readying ourselves, we proceed with caution.
Soon our DNAs becoming intertwined, in this bed together, with future children in mind.

Knowing he could possibly have become a chimera, though, I cannot breathe easy.
Onward towards the next few days, I examine any changes,
Joyfully, I can say, he remained human.
Overtly, I feel a sense of ease.
Though, it would seem this time, no child was conceived.
Every few or so weeks, we try again.

It is now a few months, and I think it is now my time.
Now, it is my turn, I am expecting.
Guess I have new fears,
New nerves. My baby, their brain, what predator animal will it be?
Every day is a nail biting one as the birth approaches swiftly.

Time is moving, three months are remaining.
Hart taking me to the chimera doctor specialist, I tell him, 'our child's brain, it won't be fully human, my bloodline is...'
It was then he told me, 'no matter how our child's brain turns out, I will love them, no matter what.'
So many times, this man blows me away, like the Mondstadt wind.

It is now time, the doctors look within me. Elemental sight casts a light,
Soon, they look at me. 'Your son, is going to have a shark brain.'

Hart and I look at one another, thinking.
Even now, my family tradition, we are named after our brains.
Ruminating it with my husband, the name comes to me.

Just now, I tell him, 'We'll call him Siorc. So, he'll be strong, just like his shark brain.'
Our heads both nod. In three months, Siorc will soon be with us, our first baby.
Until the day comes, time is moving.
Resigning from the flower shop, it nearly time.
Nearly my time for motherhood.
Everyday is a countdown.
Yes, every day is a happy one.

He is finally born, our baby. April twenty seventh, my motherhood begins.
Every day is a challenge, but with my husband, each day is easy to withstand.
Really, the early years, they go by in the blink of an eye.

Early years vanish before our very eyes.
Vanish, and disappear without a trace.
Each day, he will grow; time is fleeting.
Now, months have passed, he is growing.
Time is moving.
Ultimately, I begin thinking, another child would be a fine addition.
Another child would be welcoming.
Likely, if anything happens to me or Hart, I feel like a sibling is necessary.

Family growing, our daughter, Hase joins this world. Rabbit brain in the center,
At least my baby is lucky.
Maybe two is enough, though, Hart agrees.
It seems in this generation, each DNA in the brain has been cycled to.
Looks like there will be hardships in the future.
Yes, we must raise with caution. Chimera brains are fragile.

Here on, it seems time is moving faster,
Even now, Siorc is two, Hase is one.
Ready to hear Hase's first words, but something is amiss.

Perhaps it is my imagination, but Siorc barely speaks.
Ah, but he is only two.
Two, and learning. But I cannot
Help but worry. My sister, she said her kids were already chatty by then.

I'm sure, it is just a phase, but
Never does he seem interested in talking.

Life is moving, Siorc is three, Hase is almost two.
I'm starting to worry. He speaks, but barely.
For some reason, I feel like my son is just uninterested in speaking.
Each day, I feel a sense of unease.

As his toddler days pass,
No signs of speaking more than occasionally are happening.
Do not know why this is, hyenas are social animals.

As each day passes, I keep hoping
Life is moving, but my son is barely speaking.
Life is moving, and my daughter is chattering.

There may be a day my son stops speaking altogether,
Hart and I will prepare for such day.
Even as he starts his work as a researcher, he is a boy of few words.

Seems my son just prefers the quiet life, in this world of tree secrecy.
Maybe I should just accept it, as a mother, patience is key.
As a mother, I know he will talk more when he is ready.
Life is too short to pressure him. Talking or not, I
Love my children, with all my heart, and soul.

But quiet or not, we are now in the mischievous age of the terrible fours.
Ultimately, showing Siorc the city of Mondstadt was a mistake.
Mischief age, the troublemaking years.
Promptly looking away, Siorc has gone.
Soon finding him petting dogs, I haul him home.

Aloof and quiet, I hear a silent apology.
Looks like I need to watch him more carefully.
Ordinarily, my silent son, this mischief will be nothing more than a phase.
Now that he is about four, I suppose it is time to teach him something.
Granted permission to use my husband's study, tutoring begins.

The world of knowledge, it will soon become a fountain.
Hase will join soon after, education is key.
Every day is a happy one for my family.

While my son remains mostly silent, he is saying more words lately.
Although they are few and far in between,
Yielding from rushing him, my son remains mostly silent, am I doing the right thing?

Each and every day, I know I must raise him with love,
Any single mistake, and his shark brain could activate,
Chaos and danger would ensue if so,
Heeding him from rushing him to speak more, I keep teaching.

Day by day, knowledge is gained,
And my kids smile at me,
Years of research books from my father-in-law, I keep teaching.

Inserting knowledge within my children's brains,
Slowly, every day, they are learning in this house of secrecy.

As each day goes on, though, Siorc, is still barely speaking.

Hart and I still think there is a chance he will one day not speak at all.
At all, for any reason.
Perhaps, it is too soon to say, he is merely four.
Perhaps, he has his reasons, but it is best we do not rush.
Yes, I must proceed slowly. Eventually, I am sure he will not be quiet as a rock.

One day a time, like always. Every day is a
New one, for us chimeras, and humans.
Every day is a slow one, but every day is a gem.

Rushing into things will never be me,
Every day, in my slow placed word,
Goes by happily.
As a wife, as a mother.
Rushing will never be a priority.
Do not know what will be in store for me as my children grow.
Life is always a mystery.
Every day is one day at a time. I want
Siorc and Hase to grow happily.
So every day, I will not rush. Since I love my family"

Palamon

Has sent out Pikachu!

Age 25
he/him
Snezhnaya, Teyvat.
Seen 7 Hours Ago
Posted 1 Day Ago
7,320 posts
13.5 Years
2. Ingne Family Traditions - Acrostic Poem

It is a tradition for the Ingne family chimeras,
To get the ears pierced. Today is the day the tradition shall continue.

I'm a mother of two, in a family of secrecy. A
Secret protected by the acres of trees.

Although, the tradition must continue, it will not end here.

For the ear piercing site is within a domain,
All of it will remain a secret; self contained.
Momentarily, I need to get my children ready.
It is a very special day.
Luckily, my husband is home.
Youthful parents, youthful soul.

Today is the day the tradition can finally unfold.
Robes of black are on,
And my children are ready.
Domain is but a mere walk away.
In a matter of minutes,
The temporary portal will be reached,
In a matter of minutes,
Our stroll will be complete.
Now, in a matter of minutes, the secret door will be in reach.

Four of us before a blue portal of mystique,
Our family has used it once, each generation,
Ready to enter, we hold our children's hands.

The transport is complete, the time has come.
Hase, my daughter, is first,
Energetic, like a rabbit,

I'm certain she is ready
Now, I guide her to the seat
Greeting the familiar face,
Now, it's been since a child since I have seen them,
Even so, the tradition lives on.

Can see the needle in hand, and
Husband on standby,
In case tears roll out,
Luckily, I see no fear, my
Daughter is a brave, young hyena.
Reacting to her choice of studs,
Each, and every second counts.
Now, each moment is precious, with my family.

The needle is ready,
On the count of three.

Getting the flower studs on, my daughter is
Eager, gleeful, happy.
The smile is warm, and bright.

These are moments that only happens once, in a lifetime.
Have to cherish every moment,
Every day. Children grow up fast,
In front of my mostly human eyes.
Really have to cherish the time we have. Chimeras have unpredictable, secret lives.

Ears on the first child done,
And now, it is time for the oldest child in the family.
Relatively quiet, speaking very words, my son,
Siorc, is second. I believe he is ready.

Pretty used to him not saying more than three words,
It is unusual, hyenas are said to be social.
Even so, chimeras are only partially the animal.
Ready to bring him to the chair, I feel a
Considerable amount of tugs on the seat of my dress
Even more, as the minutes pass.
Does my son have something to say?

All and all, communication is key,
Turning to him, I am ready to listen, words from my son are rare, indeed.

After looking into my eyes, I hear his
Rare voice.
Oddly, I could hear him say, "both, mother."
Undeniably, I heard that, surely?
Now, I have my reservations,
Does he really want both?

All and all, I ask him myself, "both?"
Guess my son is resolute, I see him nod.
Even so, I have my reservations,
Should I allow that? I'm not so sure.

For as long as I remember, he's never called himself a boy.
Over the next few minutes, I think carefully.
Undeniably, I need help on this decision
Really, will this be okay? Both ears pierced, on a young boy?

Over in the corner, I turn to my husband,
Really, his input matters, as well, always.

For a minute, his words ever so slightly, shock me,
"If he wants both, then we should allow it."
Valuable input indeed,
Even if I have my reservations, I want my son to be happy.

All of the decisions made,
Now it's my son's turn in the tradition
Directing my son to the chair, he looks ready.

The questions are asked, but it seems he's returned to silence, an
Ordinary trait for my son, it's always been this way, really.
Directing his finger to a plain set
All cards are ready,
Yes, this is a once in a lifetime opportunity,

It is moments like these that come and go,
Such is fleeting, these moments in time.

The piercer's needle is ready, Siorc
Has this little peaceful smile on his face,
All and all my reservations,
They were quite unnecessary. These little moments, they are

Valuable, but fleeting.
Every day, time is passing.
Really, as a mother,
Years will go by in an instant.

Soon as the piercing is done,
Perhaps I am imagining it, but my son's
Eyes, they are wandering towards something.
Can see him looking at the merchandise in the corner,
If I recall correctly, the merchandise in the corner of the domain,
Are hairpins. Never worn them myself. I see him pointing.
Likely, he wants them. Should I really allow it?

Don't suppose it is a problem,
All and all, I want him to be happy,
Yes, I suppose I can allow it,

Hase then looks at me.
Evidentially, it would seem I am buying

Another set of hairpins for both my kids,
Surely, it will likely only be a phase.
Kids grow out of things
Even so, I want them to smile,
Despite my reservations,

For today, I will buy them
On the count of three, I ask him, "you
Really do want them?"

But to no surprise, he nods.
Opposition leaves the door,
This is what he wants,
Honestly, who am I to refuse?

The truth is, my bloodline,
Our brains are abnormal, intricate, complicated,

Brains with predator animal centers,
Everyone except my husband, a human outside the line.

Predator animal of a coyote inside me remains dormant, but
In my son, is the shark.
Every moment, we have to
Raise him with love. Raise him
Carefully. The Ingne family can be dangerous, if raised incorrectly.
Even though I have my reservations, I
Don't have the heart in me to say no, I want him to be happy.

I'm certain it will be a phase, but
Siorc wants the hairpins.

Talking it over with my
Husband, he tells me, "Kojote, dear, don't worry."
Accessories picked out,
The plain x-shaped hairpins will do, for now.

Ready to pay, my Mora is in hand.
Everything is accounted for,
And everything is in hand.
Looking my way, I clip the x-shapes in
Looking my way, I clip my daughter's in, as well.
Yes, this a moment, I need to cherish.

Over the years, time will pass.
Knowing that, every moment with my family is precious.
Another day will pass,
Years will go by. I need to cherish each and every day.

I'm happy to have these moments, even though it's mostly living in secrecy.

Goodbyes being given, the four of us leave.
Ultimately, the domain disappears, it is no longer within reach.
Evening is now upon us,
So returning home is a must,
Soon, it will be dinnertime,

So the travel back it will not be long,
On this day of tradition within my family,

I'm certain on what our dinner will be, a dish

Loved by the Archons,
Or so I've heard, a
Vegetable dish, Barbatos Ratatouille.
Every so often, on a special night, I make it for my family.

Many trees seen,
Yards of leaves behind us, our house is nearing.

Finally at home, I am more than ready.
All the moments with everyone is precious,
Moments of happiness,
I'm a proud mother of two, even in this life of secrecy,
Life may go by quickly as a parent,
Yes, that really is a certainty.

Every moment goes by quickly,
Nearly instantly,
Days turn into years
Every moment is quick; fleeting.
And each and every day, even in secrecy,
Really bring me joy,
I'm a proud mother of two, even as chimera with
Numerous amount of difficulties.
Giving it my all as an Ingne, as a partial hyena,
Life is fleeting, but I love my family. My smile, it isn't
Yielding, or dissipating. Every moment is precious, for me.

Palamon

Has sent out Pikachu!

Age 25
he/him
Snezhnaya, Teyvat.
Seen 7 Hours Ago
Posted 1 Day Ago
7,320 posts
13.5 Years
3: Ingne Children go Pumpkin Picking



Peaceful times, a peaceful life,
Unknown to many, the quiet days
Minimalistic, effort free. No militaristic responsibility.
Placid, simple, blissfully.
Kids are quite lucky.
In this particular moment, the chimera is happy.
Nothing of happenstance, a moment of glee.

Placed a couple years before, inconsequentially,
Inside the woods with many beasts
Came a day of the berated question, "pumpkin picking, mommy?"
Kids are quite feisty
Inbound, and full of energy
Gleeful, blissful, and free.


It was a quiet autumn day within the nation of Mondstadt. The cold wind of freedom blew gently as the leaves fell off the trees blissfully. Hilichurls were slumbering in the wilderness discordantly away from humanity, as normal. Everything at the particular moment in time was as the same as it ever was. Such fact was a truth to behold, even for a small family of chimeras. The reality was no different for the hidden hyenas of nearly perfect secrecy.

Such perfect secrecy would come to a close today.

A young mother stood outside on her porch quietly. As her two currently human in appearance children had been playing amongst themselves, the youthful woman watched warmly. Seeing her children in good spirits was always an uplifting feeling for the chimera mother. Being in a house especially far away from most normal human society, the mother of marriage continued observing blissfully. Exercise was an important necessity for all children.

The mother had quite the colorful appearance like any person within the nation of Mondstadt that was not of generic stature. She had long purple hair that went down to her knees. Length being long enough to rival a princess with seventy foot long hair in a world outside of Teyvat. Her eyes matched her hair color almost exactly. Such a trait seemed to have been an odd commonality within the realm of the world. While physical appearance had been of unique stature, the clothing the woman had been wearing was the opposite. The young mother adorned a plain white outfit with a blue skirt underneath that most women of generic appearances could be seen wearing within the nation. Clothes of commonality mattered not to the adult woman, however.

As the mother continued to observe her children run around carelessly and free, a sigh released from her throat. Within her field of vision she could see one her kin halting their game of chase. From a distance, the chimera mother could see her two children's hands moving about in conversation. Having been too silent to hear the words that were being spoken, another sigh released from the mother's throat. She knew those hand movements could mean one thing, and one thing only. Her daughter was planning something, something unattainable. When such thoughts ended, the young girl sprinted swiftly to her mother. Tugging the skirt completely on cue as usual, a third sigh released from her throat. It was coming. The question she dreaded. The inquiry her daughter would ask every year.

"Mommy," the daughter squeaked happily. She continued to tug her mother's skirt playfully as she prepared to ask her favorite question of the year. "Can we go pumpkin picking, please?" The young girl continued gently clutching the skirt locked in her fingers whimsically. Perhaps if she were to drag her brother into this, her mother could not possibly refuse. "Siorc said he wants to pick a pumpkin, too! We should go! Please, mommy?" The girl released her hand from the skirt softly. Her jade eyes lit up like the stars in the sky. Surely, there was no way her mother would refuse this time.

The young girl had short, wavy green hair down to about her shoulders. Hair currently a mess from the bustling about in the secrecy of their house near the forest. Looking and acting more like her father, the girl's rambunctious attitude never ceased to amaze the mother. Her clothing of generic Mondstadt wear had been a mess, as expected. Such was a commonality for the young girl in daytime.

The mother stared at her daughter quietly. There it was. The ultimate question she hated. The inquiry about pumpkin picking. Every autumn without fail, the young girl would ask about the forbidden art of picking the ripe orange fruit. Every year without fail, the answer would be the same. Rejection having usually come immediately upon being asked, the mother prepared the two letter weapon. She, however, stopped herself upon a realization. Her daughter had thrown a curve ball onto the playing field. Did her son truly wish to do the forbidden act of pumpkin picking, as well? She knew she had to ask her daughter the truth.

"Hase, is this actually true?" she asked, calling her daughter by name conveniently. "Does your brother really want to go pumpkin picking, as well?" A suspicious tone in her voice resonated throughout the area. Kids were devious creatures. She looked into her daughter's eyes sternly, pupils resolute. Her decision had been made. Perhaps if it was true, she would allow it, just this once. "If he really wants to go as well, I'll allow it." The mother continued to look at her daughter's eyes rigidly. If any disingenuous movements appeared when her daughter replied, she would relay the magical two letter word on the tip of every mother's mouth.

Hase flailed around energetically upon hearing her mother possibly allowing her to fulfill her dream. While agreement had never come from her brother's lips, she knew getting him to be unanimous was an easy feat. Success being imminent, the girl motioned to speak. This year, for sure, her dream would come true.

"Yes, mommy, he does!" Hase cried happily. The young chimera girl tugged her brother's currently human arm lightly. "Right, Siorc?" Her lip quivered into a pout as her brother's purple eyes showed disinterest. "You want to go pumpkin picking, too, right?" The girl continued tugging on her brother's arm lightly. This time for sure, it had to work.

The young chimera boy allowed a similar sigh to his mother escape the throat. Having been practically the opposite of his sister on the subject matter, pumpkin picking was never something he wished to do. His sister decided for him, yet again, that he had wished to do something without his consent. Sisters are terrible creatures.

The young preteen chimera had been opposite of his sister in every way, indeed. His purple hair was the inverse of his sister. Being inverse of the green, although, did not stop his hair from being the same length as his sister one year his junior. Such similarity had ended there, immediately. Inverted mirroring was the inevitable. Even the style his hair had been in was a stark contrast from his biological blood relation. His hair was straight and kept together; a single wave not having been seen anywhere within the millions of strands populating his head. With such inverse, the siblings had one thing in common, and one thing in common alone.

The mountains of freckles on their faces were the same for the both of them.

Both children having been born partially hyena, the freckles upon the face were, in actuality, hyena spots. Such a fact going unbeknownst to most normal humans if they were to ever gaze at them. Differences everywhere aside, the hyena knew, agreeing despite the disinterest would make his sister happy. Amongst everything, disappointment was not a beast he wished to behold to Hase. The preteen chimera looked to his mother quietly, readying to speak.

"Yes, mother," he replied quietly. Being quiet was a normal occurrence for the hyena. "I want to go pumpkin picking, too." He hoped agreeing would kill the potential disappointment if no were to have been the answer.

Upon hearing her son agree to her daughter's words, the mother knew the magic two letter word was no longer an option. Stepping back into the house for a moment, the mother walked over to the drawer in her shared bedroom. Removing three black coats from the drawer, she exited the house promptly. Rejecting her daughter's request was no longer an option. The mother recalled the citizens of Springvale had always placed pumpkins throughout the area for children to pick during the autumn season. Gripping the black coats tightly, the youthful woman breathed quietly. The time to say the not so pleasant three letter word of acceptance was upon her.

"Alright, I'll let the two of you go pumpkin picking," she said to her children. Her voice remained stern as she handed her two children the black coats she had come back with. "But you have to wear these jackets, in case people see you." The last thing the young woman wanted was for her children's animal traits to be discovered if they were to suddenly pop out randomly. Such was an uncommon commonality for the Ingne family chimeras. "These coats will hide your tails if they pop out." She had hoped the coats would be enough to hide any potential transformations to come. Hearing horror stories of some chimeras being ostracized upon discovery, the risk was not worth it. Cloaking was the only way.

Siorc took the black jacket given to him obediently. Having occasionally snuck off into the capital city to pet dogs, he knew safety was a top priority. Placing the black cloak of a jacket on his partially person astutely, the preteen chimera followed instructions perfectly. Clicking the buttons onto the jacket in a similar fashion as the traditional earrings every child in the Ingne family wore, the hyena finished instantly. Upon finishing the action, he turned to his younger sister adjacent to him. A small pout was evident in her voice over having to wear such an outfit. He blinked his eyes quietly at the visible disdain the girl had for the cloak.

Pouts soon dissipated as the young girl sloppily placed the black coat over her currently dirty clothes. As the rushed act of putting the jacket on ended, the scowls of distaste evaporated. Jumping in place gleefully, a smile broke from ear to ear upon Hase's face. Jumping in place, similar to certain strange humans tag teaming in the open wilderness to fight monsters to get the other's attention.

Sisters were wild creatures, indeed.

"Yay!" Hase cheered. Her hands were above her head out of pure joy. Excitement bubbling into overdrive, the young girl knew asking where would have to come next. "Where are we picking them?" Her voice grew louder as the excitement continued to bubble inside her.

The mother blinked quietly. She recalled there was a forest near Springvale that no humans traversed through known as Wolvendom. Perhaps, just maybe, there would be a few pumpkins there? She figured it would be worth a shot.

"We're going to Wolvendom," she replied softly. Maybe, just maybe, there would be pumpkins there. She turned to her children with a ready look on her face. "Are you two ready?" The mother placed her black coat on swiftly as such phrase was uttered. Daylight hours were not long lasting in autumn.

Siorc blinked at the declaration of the location being Wolvendom. Wasn't Wolvendom an area full of monsters? The chimera did know; knowledge of the wilderness in Teyvat was not something the hyena had been taught. Placing a cork into the thought, the preteen nodded in agreement. All he wanted was for his sister to be happy. She always seemed bored around the house of secrecy in the autumn months.

Hase clapped her hands eagerly. She was ready for her dream to finally come to fruition. "Yes, mommy!" she beamed. Her smile was as bright as the afternoon sun in the sky. "I'm ready!"

"We are going, then," she replied to both of her children. "Follow me." A somber smile broke on the mother's nearly hidden face. Hopefully, not a single human being would see the three of them as they traversed to the forest.

At least Wolvendom was right nearby their house near the forest.

***

Having walked a short distance away, getting to Wolvendom was no problem for the three Ingne family chimeras. Taking no more than fifteen minutes to arrive, the short distance travel ended abruptly. The large forest completely absorbed into their partial persons, the mother guided her two children to an odd red device near a tree. Never really traversing anywhere except the city to buy groceries, the forest of unknown bewildered her. Praying to the Anemo Archon like most citizens of Mondstadt did, she continued to hope pumpkins could possibly be housed somewhere within the wilderness.

Upon becoming stationary, Siorc observed the area before him slowly. Within his field of vision were trees, many trees that were taller than the chimera could ever imagine. Between the trees was a long winded path of grass. Path mostly being covered by the grass, the hyena allowed a gulp to release from the esophagus. Was such a place really safe to traverse through? The preteen did not know. Observing one final time before his sister's interruptive excitement were to burst out, the young boy placed his covered hands over his eyes fearfully. Disaster would strike if any monsters were to awaken.

Barely having a care in the world, Hase jumped in place gleefully. Danger bouncing over her head like a rabbit hopping about, the young girl was ready. No amount of danger crossed her mind. Only the thought of picking a pumpkin remained inside her partial human brain. Immediately gripping her brother's hand, the young girl turned to her mother hyperactively. Excitement had hit its maximum capacity. No other emotion remained.

"Mommy, may I go on ahead?" she asked, gripping her brother's hand even tighter. "I'll be careful!" Continuing to hold her brother's hand in a tight lock, Hase looked into her mother's eyes happily. The itch to find the orange fruit ticked rapidly as every second raged onward.

Seeing her daughter's eagerness not cease for even a moment, she knew allowing such action was the only option. "As long as Siorc goes with you," she said sternly. "But, please don't get too far." She knew saying such was useless. Kids are never the diligent listeners.

Hand being locked into a grip, the preteen chimera let out a defeated sigh. The area not being safe, fear seeded itself into his partially human brain. Knowing his sister would not change her mind, the hyena quietly accepted his fate of being dragged along the forest. The seed of fear planting itself, no words could be spoken. Siorc nodded feebly. Closing his eyes, the young boy prayed to the Anemo Archon silently. If any monsters were to awaken, doom would certainly befall them.

Immediately upon hearing her mother allow her entry into the forest, her legs broke into a sprint. Not having heard her mother instructions to not go too far into the forest, Hase continued sprinting with her brother in tow. Having no care in the world, the girl would not cease the sprint for an endless amount of minutes. Such acts of accelerated sprint would come to a crashing halt quickly, but assuredly. Feeling a pant break in her throat, the young girl ended her sprint. The exercise having ended prematurely, the young girl grunted. Was her stamina level the default within the rules of world? Perhaps gripping her brother had lowered her capability. Two people linked together, hand in hand were not a light weight, for certain. Removing her brother from her grip, the chimera readied to sprint again. Such attempt was immediately halted by her brother. Feeling a small tap on her shoulder, she turned to him.

"Hase, you're not going by yourself," the preteen chimera said sharply. "Mother said no." Using such occasion, the hyena raised his voice uncharacteristically. "There's monsters here." He tacked on such for good measure, but he knew reasoning with his sister was useless.

Hase flinched upon hearing her brother's unusually louder voice. Sweatdrops forming underneath her hooded face, the rabbit grooves within the girl's brain festered inside her. Thumping her leg on the ground rapidly like a rabbit, the young chimera girl turned to her brother frantically. She was caught. Guilty as charged. There was no way she would be able to leave alone now.

"I knew that," she replied rapidly. Her foot was still thumping on the ground rapidly. "But the pumpkins are definitely close by! We should keep going!" Excitement boiled into overdrive as the mention of pumpkins broke from her lips again.

But, Siorc could not hear her words. Within his field of vision was a batch of strange patches of grass. The patch of grass had a blue bulb on the ends of it, emitting an odd light. Such a fascinating patch of grass, it was. Walking near the blue grass bulb slightly, the chimera noticed the bulb closed with a single step. What a fickle plant of curiosity, it was. A wondrous occasion of study to be had, for sure.

"Siorc, what are you doing?" Hase called out to him. "Let's keep going!"

The voice of his sister having pulled him back into reality, the chimera shook his head violently. Picking one of the oddly bulbed grass, the hyena placed the treasure into a small pocket on his black cloak. The bulb having opened again upon picking it, a light emanated from the pocket it was placed in. Completely being brought back into reality, Siorc looked at his sister's green eyes fruitfully. Having remembered their mother had said they can't go too far, the chimera knew he had to remind his sister of that fact.

"We can't go out too far," he reminded her quietly. "We might be too far out already. We should head back."

Hase grunted at such suggestion. Go back now? Not on her nonexistent watch, she wouldn't. Whatever a watch was, the chimera girl did not know. Not yet, there was no way she was turning back yet. She had to tell her brother that.

"But, I haven't gotten a pumpkin yet!" she chided childishly. "Can we just go for a little while longer, please?" She gave her brother a look of desperation. Would such tactics work? It mattered not to her. The orange fruit was the only thing that remained within her brain.

The preteen chimera glared at his sister irritably. Why was she so persistent? Sisters were terrible creatures. Scouting the area ahead of him, the hyena had quickly come to a horrible realization. He had not known where they were in the woods. Fear rooting itself further into his head, Siorc's eyes lost color swiftly. Running always led to trouble anywhere even a partial person went.

It was inevitable. The two of them were lost. Lost in Wolvendom.

Seeing the light from her brother's eyes leave, Hase knew he may have been right. Hated admitting to such a fact, though, the girl remained silent, for the moment at hand. Mimicking her brother's scouting like a mirror image, Hase copied Siorc quietly. Scouting the area the older chimera did not cover, the young girl could see a figure of a person up ahead. The person being within a secluded area, she wondered if the stranger knew the way out. The young girl tapped her brother's shoulder to get his attention.

"I see someone over there," Hase said, pointing at the hooded person in the distance. "We should ask them how to get back." Never liking to be wrong, she let loose a grunt in her voice. "You're right, maybe we should head back. I still want a pumpkin, though!" She tacked on such line for good measure, but she knew it was not appropriate. The chimera girl cared not.


Tap having registered eventually, Siorc turned his attention to the stranger from afar. While speaking to strangers was never something his mother allowed, there was no choice in the matter. Simply nodding, the preteen chimera sauntered with his sister onward to the secluded area within the woods. As the dome of seclusion and the two hyena children met, the young boy studied the area frantically. Looking at the position of the sun in the sky, a gulp released from the esophagus. The sun was nearly setting in the sky. Time was running out.

Looking closer at the area of seclusion before him, the chimera noticed oddities about the area and the stranger within it. The dome's area was cemented with an odd concrete. Nothing like anything else within the woods the two of them had been wandering in. On the walls had been a blue symbol that looked like wolf eyes. What an odd area, to be sure. It was nothing like the boy had ever seen, not even in books.

The stranger was even more puzzling to him. Standing inside the dome was a small hooded stranger. The hooded stranger had grey hair, and green pants that looked homemade, almost as if given to them. Around the chest was an odd brown tassel. Did the stranger not have a shirt? While such a sight was odd to behold, Siorc knew to never judge a person. Before he could speak up, however, he could hear Hase's voice overpower his own. She was faster than him, as usual.

"Hello, sir," Hase called out. While greeting the stranger, the girl removed her black cloak from her body completely. Politeness was key. "Do you know the way out of Wolvendom?" She removed the black hood laced onto her brother's body, as well. It was definitely rude to wear black around a stranger, surely.

Siorc rolled his eyes to the sky. Sir? The stranger looked barely any older than they did. But, such words never released from his throat. Feeling the black cloak removed from his partial person, the chimera let out a frustrated growl. What was his sister doing? Her energy, even when lost, astounded the hyena.

Before responding, the stranger sniffed the chimera children. Sensing no danger, the stranger looked at the two children with a determined look on his face. "You smell nice," he said instinctively. "Okay, I help you get back to entrance." The stranger walked in front of the two. "You looking for lupical? I guide you." Every word the stranger spoke was short, and broken. Language must not have been his strong suit.

As the odd stranger guided the two back to the entrance of the woods, the chimera children quietly followed. Siorc stared at the path in front of him silently. Watching as the stranger boy continued guiding his sister and he back to the entrance, the chimera pondered. What was a human child doing in the woods by himself? Such a thought puzzled the hyena. Did he not have a family? He knew asking strangers questions was not something he was allowed by decree of his mother.

Within minutes, the chimera could see his mother within his field of vision. Seeing the stranger guiding them stop moving, the hyena looked at the stranger in the eyes directly. The stranger's eyes were dark red. What an unusual sight to behold.

"I return you to lupical," spoke the stranger. The words had been just as broken as the last. "Family, good."

The mother tapped her foot impatiently. Kids were out of control beasts to behold. Occasionally disobedient and all, she still loved her children the same. As her two children were returned to her via the hooded stranger, scolding was the inevitable.

"I told you not to go out too far," the mother said, tone low from frustration of her disorderly daughter. She allowed a sigh to release from her throat. Frustration quickly softening. At least her children were safe. Noticing her daughter and son did not have a single pumpkin, the mother knew inquiring about the failed endeavor was a necessity. "Did you not get a pumpkin?" Her daughter must have sprinted until getting lost with her brother, she ventured to guess.

"Oh, pumpkin?" the stranger asked. Sniffing again, the stranger pointed to a tree the red device was stationed near. "Lady placed pumpkin over there."

Hase's ears perked like a rabbit hearing the word pumpkin again. A rabbit, just like the meaning of her name. While the pumpkin having been placed in an anticlimactic area of the place they entered from, the young girl cared not. Picking up the small orange fruit quickly upon being told the location, joy took residence within her partial person. Finally, a pumpkin was in her possession. Joy overtaking every emotion, the girl held the pumpkin as though it was her first child. Holding the pumpkin silently, it was as if the fruit tranquilized her.

The mother looked at her son softly. She knew he did not want a pumpkin, but she did not want her daughter to suspect she knew of her selfishness of including him in her ordeal. Playing as though she did not know, she motioned her lips to speak to her preteen son.

"Do you not want a pumpkin?" the mother asked disingenuously. Playing dumb should die a dishonorable death.

"No, mother," he replied quietly, voice barely audible. "I found something better." Siorc pointed to the glowing grass within his currently removed black cloak. A calm look permeated on the chimera's face. The fascination of the glowing grass continued inside him, even in the moment at hand.

The blue grass he picked made a better pumpkin to begin with.

While such odd light stirred the mother, seeing her son happy cancelled out the concern immediately. As long as both of her kids were happy, the oddity of the object did not matter. She turned to both her children. The time to go back home was upon them. Moving in front of her children to signal she was ready to leave, she walked a few steps forward.

"I'm glad you're both happy. Let's go home," the mother responded. She turned to the stranger quickly before escorting her children home. "Thank you for bringing my children back to me, young man." She then turned back to her son and daughter. "Your father should be home by now, it's evening." The mother walked towards the exit of the woods. At least home was not too far off.

As the three left the woods quietly, the mother let out an exhausted sigh.

Kids were quite the adventurous handful.

***

As the three were returning home, Hase noticed something peculiar about her brother's back. In the back of him had been a hyena tail. Had it sprung out when they were lost in the woods? She knew she had to tell the brother in front of her now. Such fact could not remain unsaid.

"Siorc, your tail is sticking out!" Hase cried. If a pumpkin were not in her currently human hands, she would point at it.

Hearing his tail had been protruding, the chimera stepped seven steps back. His hyena tail had come out? The fear inside him flowered aggressively. His tail was visible on his person. If the stranger had saw his tail, he would tell another person, for sure. Knowing the tail could not stay visible, the chimera closed his eyes. Using any amount of willpower, the tail disappeared back into nothingness. Hyena spots crimson from the ordeal, a tiny squeak released from the preteen's throat. As the house of secrecy permeated within his field of vision, Siorc sprinted inside quickly.

He shouldn't have let his sister remove the black coat from his partially human person.

As the Ingne family returned to their resident of near secrecy, a masked man snickered sinisterly. Seeing the entire transformation, the man of masked stature rubbed his hands together maniacally.

Her Majesty, the Cryo Archon in Snezhnaya, should know of this incident.

***
Using a Teleport Waypoint to the Palace back in his homeland of the permafrost north, the masked man entered the palace her Majesty resided in politely. Such an interesting event should not go unsaid or unnoticed, by any means. He recalled Her Majesty had been looking for new recruits within her personal army, as of recent.

"Your Majesty," the masked man said. He bowed his head to her on cue. "I saw a boy in Mondstadt able to hide an animal tail at will. I think he would be of interest to you within the ranks of the Fatui." Recommendations were rare to come by in the frozen northern land, but such incident should not remain unsaid.

An especially tall woman folded her legs royally upon hearing one of her soldiers relent the news to her. A sinister smile broke on her face. A chimera that could hide their animal traits. Interesting, very interesting indeed.

"Your information is very useful to me, my lovely Fatui." the Cryo Archon replied sinisterly. Her smile stretched even further. "I will collect him personally in due time." Smile quickly becoming a smirk, a royal laugh broke from Her Majesty's throat. "In two year's time, the chimera boy will be mine." Caressing the soldier's masked face, she looked at him one last time before forcing his exit from the palace. "Keep watch of him, my dear soldier. Study him dutifully."

The pawns on the chessboard were almost ready to be set.

Palamon

Has sent out Pikachu!

Age 25
he/him
Snezhnaya, Teyvat.
Seen 7 Hours Ago
Posted 1 Day Ago
7,320 posts
13.5 Years
4. Silence is Purple

"Hearing very odd footsteps lately,
As a precaution I have silenced myself
I'm quieter; they won't hear me
Really, it is better
Precautionary is what I have to be
Insistent on saying absolutely
Nothing, I have to
Stay mute, for my family's safety."


About a year and half had passed since the young chimera children had gone pumpkin picking. Various changes had happened within the nearly perfect hidden lives of the Ingne family hyenas. Coming to the decision that almost complete secrecy was not a healthy outcome for their children's growth, the egg of stealth cracked from the inside. Changes had become abundant within the chimera's lives.

Secrecy being no more for the young children, a multitude of sudden routines had solidified for the two hyena children. Becoming privy to the existence of an elderly neighbor a singular acre away, the younger daughter, Hase, had been instructed to help the wise woman of many years out with chores. Human lady of old having a huge outdoor garden, the young hyena daughter would assist in any way she could. Helping out had become a commonality for the preteen girl.

Mother of marriage deciding her silent son needed to acquire social skills, the brother hyena had been tasked to do shopping for the family. Having sneaked off into the capital city to pet dogs in the past, such assignment of chore was a no-brainer for the mother chimera. However, such acquiring of social skills never occurred for the older preteen chimera. Something odd, but expected, had happened six months prior within the Ingne family's lives.

Their son, Siorc, had stopped speaking entirely.

Slowly becoming quieter since the pumpkin picking adventure, the young hyena's voice would be heard less with every passing day. Such decrease continuing onward, the young boy's voice stopped being heard by the family one fall evening. Expecting such an outcome to occur, concern graced the parent's minds. Knowing forcing words out of their son would not help matters, the married couple decided pushing him to speak would be unwise. Worry never leaving the chambers of the mother and father's brains, days of silence for the young boy chimera crawled around inexorably.

It was a quiet spring evening within the nation of Mondstadt. The warming wind of freedom blew gently as the deciduous trees gained foliage beautifully. Slimes were bouncing about in the wilderness undisturbed by humanity in the area, as usual. Everything at the moment in time was the same as it had been for the past five-hundred-forty-four days.

Today, however, was a special day for the young preteen hyena. The preteen chimera had now become an adolescent chimera.

The mother stood out on the grass by the porch by her singular lonesome. Both children being out doing their routines, and husband out on the job, the woman of marriage had been alone. Knowing her son would return at any moment, the adult woman waited patiently.

As the sun lowered slightly in the sky, the mother could see her son's return within her purple eyed field of vision. Having sent the hyena out to buy supplies as a distraction from the secretive celebration plans, a quiet smile formed on the mother's face. As her child came closer, she watched with fondness as he strutted towards their home. Remembering her daughter wished for Siorc to come and pick her up from the neighbor's house today, the mother continued to wait as the distance between them became shorter as the seconds raged onward.

Gap between them decreased to five meters, the mother reached out her hand for the tiny bag of supplies held in her son's currently human hands. Supplies being given, she was ready to relay her request to her now adolescent son. Sun in the sky beginning to lower ever so slightly, the mother of marriage motioned her lips to speak.

"Siorc," the mother said softly. "Could you go pick up Hase at the neighbor's house?" She looked into her son's eyes for a moment. "I have to prepare dinner. Your father is coming home early tonight." Such phrase was a slight lie, but she knew Hase wanted to deliver a surprise to her brother separate from her own. She looked in her son's eyes one final time as she waited for the predictable wordless answer from him.

Hearing his mother mention Hase, the chimera simply nodded. Tilting his head slightly at the announcement of an early dinner, Siorc shrugged his currently human shoulders. Knowing on this day, thirteen years ago, he was born, the adolescent thought nothing of it. Turning his heelless shoes situated below his generic Mondstadt outfit, the young man readied to go retrieve his sister silently. Walking forward, he waved to his mother as he exited to the west.

Taking the nod as confirmation, the mother waved to her son as he proceeded to exit. Watching as he continued to get farther away, a somber sigh released itself from the chambers of her partially human throat. Despite expecting no verbal answer from him, hearing nothing from her son's lips was still a concerning sight to behold.

She continued to watch as her son's presence disappeared quickly before her. Eventually being gone, a small hope nestled itself into the temporarily empty nest in her mind.

Hopefully, just maybe, her daughter's surprise would get him speaking again.

***
"Footsteps are continuing to follow me,
Almost always throughout the day.
Maybe it really is just best if I don't say anything
I'm sure of it, those boots, their sound, I sense
Large amounts of danger coming towards me
Yielding myself from speaking is a must-be."


Venturing through a small area surrounded by various Fragrant Cedar trees, Siorc would not falter. Having gone through the small acre multiple times before to retrieve his sister, the chimera knew the area on the back of his currently human hands. Sight of the possibly hundreds of trees gracing him as he stepped through the tree utopia, bliss of nature engulfed the young man momentarily. Although, such bliss was a short lived phenomenon. The egg was beginning to crack further from the inside.

The adolescent could hear them again, those militaristic, violent footsteps. Hearing the footsteps quite often since the pumpkin picking adventure, uneasiness blossomed permanently inside him. The unusual footsteps always following behind him, who could they belong to? The chimera did not know, but he knew one thing for certain, and one thing only. Those heeled steps, they were incredibly dangerous. Knowing at any moment, the steps of this person could take his family away, the hyena had come to a decision six months ago. An easy decision to be had for sure, on his part.

He would stop talking, entirely until the footsteps stopped lurking from behind him. Already not having been a talkative child, the decision had been an easy one for the newly emerged adolescent. He knew, his silence, surely, would keep his mother and sister safe. Internal vow on his silence emerged, the chimera would not let the person watching his family win.

As the sea of trees was about to end, the chimera jerked his head to the left and right. Absolutely no one was following from behind him. There was nothing but trees surrounding him. The footsteps would not cease. Those militaristic footsteps, why was he still hearing them, even today? The hyena did not know, but he knew he had to continue. The sun was about to set completely. Always seeing his mother collecting Hase before it became dark out, his currently human legs broke out into a sprint.

Elderly woman's house being within his field of vision, the young man halted his sprint. Seeing the elderly woman of generic appearance, the chimera waved to her quietly. Finishing his wave, he again turned his head to the left and right of him. The mysterious person had still not shown themselves. He knew despite the person only being sounds, he could not falter. He had to remain silent. Wise woman of many years standing by herself in front of her garden, the boy turned his head back to the elderly lady in front of him.

"Little Siorc, it's so very good to see you!" the generic elderly woman called out. There was a joyful tone present in her voice. "I'll go get your sister for you." She cupped her hands around her thin lips. "Hase, dear, your brother's here!" Her voice echoed through the plain white paint of her house.

Hearing the elderly lady many years still young call out to her, Hase sprinted from the back of the house garden completely on cue. Wearing a gardening apron with pockets on the side over her generic Mondstadt wear, the girl smiled quietly as her brother presented himself in front of her jade eyes. Siorc came to get her, just like she had asked. With him being so closed off lately, she had her undeniable doubts, but seeing him within her presence made her eyes gleam like an uncut Crystal Chunk in the open wilderness. Readying to unleash her surprise, the young girl shuffled through her dirt covered apron gleefully.

"Siorc, there you are!" she chided happily. Her currently human hands continued to sift through the pocket in her apron. "I have a surprise for you!" Hands meeting the box, Hase removed the plastic package from the cloth with a gentle pull. Rubbing her left hand on the apron, the dirt flew off into the breeze of freedom. Dirt being gone, she walked over to her brother. Placing the box into his hand, she grinned from ear to ear. "Happy birthday! I got you a present!" She closed her eyes, and tilted her head to the side. Would he like the surprise gift she got him? Hase hoped it was the case. The neighbor paying her a small amount of Mora for the chores she had done, getting gifts for the family was one of her current favorite pastimes.

Siorc stared at the white box placed into his hands silently. Remembering gifts were given to those on their birthday, the hyena opened the box at a Ruin Guard's walking pace. What awaited him inside the tiny plastic box? Knowing his sister, it was definitely something he would like. He knew, even if he didn't, he did not have the heart to reject anything she were to give him. Cover of the box removed, he examined the contents on the inside in complete silence.

He could feel himself tear up immediately upon seeing the contents inside the present box. Sitting inside the black styrofoam were two hairpins with white rabbits on the front of them. The white rabbits had cute dot eyes and fuzzy ears. Sitting next to the hairpins had been two rabbit earrings with wire hooks protruding from the top side. Tears of pure happiness streaming down his face, the sight of the earrings and hairpins fogged up slightly.

Wanting to wear them immediately, the hyena unhooked his current plain earrings from his ears. Picking up the new ones, he clipped them into the holes in both his ears perfectly. Earrings being secured, he removed his plain cross shaped hairpins from the sides of his head. Clipping the new hairpins into place, the tears of joy continued dropping. Knowing he could not thank her with words, he pulled his sister into a very rare hug.

Expecting the hug instead of words because of her brother's silence as of recent, the young girl placed her arms around her brother. Seeing him so emotional over a little gift, she returned his embrace in kind. It had been such a long time since she had seen any sort of emotion from him. It was quite the sight to see.

"I'm so glad you like it, Siorc," she cried joyfully. Her arms were on his back, holding him tight. She turned her head to the elderly neighbor slightly. "Look, granny, he loves them! I knew he would!" Removing her arms from her brother's back, she removed the gardening apron from her body. Remembering their mother said they would be having an early dinner, she knew it was time for the two of them to return home. "I'll come back tomorrow to till the garden some more. See you later, granny." Waving goodbye to the elderly neighbor, a more subdued smile graced her face.

The elderly woman waved to the children as they were about to leave. The young lady's manners had been ever so slightly improving. While her neighbors had not been related to her in any way, they had slowly become like grandchildren to her.

"Have a good evening, you two," she said in a motherly tone. "And get home safely, children!" She continued to wave for a moment until the children had entered the sea of trees.

Grabbing her brother's currently human hand, the two strolled through the sea of Fragrant Cedar trees. As the small brown field below them was soon behind them, the Ingne family home was within the two chimera children's fields of vision. Small house being closer with every step, Hase let go of her brother's hand. Mother being present on the porch, she sprinted over to her immediately.

Hand being let go of, Siorc again turned his head to the right and left. The footsteps following behind them, they still would not cease, even for a moment. The militaristic footsteps, why would they never stop when he was on the move? Still not seeing the person the footsteps belonged to, he walked over to the small house of broken secrecy in complete silence.

As he walked over to the house, a very rare sight greeted his purple eyes. On the porch, alongside his mother, was his father. His short green hair, and green eyes looked tired, but almost happy. He was no longer in his generic Mondstadt uniform, but in his normal every day clothes. His father had really come home early? What a nice sight to behold, for sure. Walking over to his parents, he looked into his father's eyes wordlessly.

"Happy birthday, Siorc," his father said. There was slight sternness in his voice. "Oh, you're wearing your presents already? They look great on you." He motioned his hand to the door of the house. "Come inside, kids, dinner is ready." He looked at his son one more time as he prepared to go inside the house. "Your mother and I have another present for you, let's not waste any more time." Seeing his hyena tail sticking out from behind him, he grabbed his son's hand, taking him inside the house as quick as his entire human body could muster.

Entire family following behind, the four Ingnes entered the house. As no signs of the family remained within the outside world, a masked man's camouflaged cloaking created from Snezhnayan technology came undone. The family no longer being outside to see him, he stared at the tiny primitive wooden mailbox in front the house sinisterly.

Reading the name on the box, a large smirk grew behind the masked face. The family's name had been Ingne. He knew he had to report this fact he had learned to Her Majesty right away. He rubbed his hands together maniacally as the name Ingne wormed into his militaristic brain.

Ingne, what an interesting name.

***

Using a Teleport Waypoint to the palace back in the permafrost north, the masked man entered the palace Her Majesty resided in politely. Now being instructed to always report back to her when something new had been learned about the chimera family, he opened the doors with a militaristic roar. He knew he had to report everything he had learned as soon as the information presented itself. Time was not a virtue for the Cryo Archon.

"Your Majesty," the masked man said. He bowed his head to her on cue. "The chimera family I'm keeping an eye on, I learned of their last name today for you." He lifted his head to her as he reported his full information to her. "Their last name is Ingne. I hope this information will be of use to you, Your Majesty."

The Cryo Archon crusted her right leg into her left thigh. She had heard of that name before, the Ingnes. Recalling the Ingne family had a long line of predator animal grooves in their brain's DNAs, a sinister smile broke on her face. While such fact had been known to her, she recalled another fact about the bloodline. The predator DNA inside the brain, the son in this cycle would have shark grooves in the brain. Knowing that sharks were valiant predators, a deeper smirk grew on her face. She placed her hands on the root of her chin. She was certain. The young chimera boy would make a fine addition in her army.

"Your information was very useful to me, my lovely Fatui," the Cryo Archon replied sinisterly. Her tone of voice was absolute. "I will collect him in six months time." Caressing the masked soldier's face with her other gloved hand, the smirk continued to grow. "Continue to watch him until then, my dear soldier."

The pawns on the chessboard were almost ready to be placed.

***

"The footsteps, they're getting louder lately
Especially in the evenings,
Eerily so, I can't help but continue to have this
Noxious feeling, growing deep inside me,
Silence, surely, I have to keep quiet continuously."


Two months had passed since Siorc's birthday had been celebrated. Everything had been as it normally was for the Ingne family chimeras. Nothing of especial note had been happening within the two months time for the hyena family no longer in full secrecy.

It was an early summer afternoon in the nation of Mondstadt. The wind of freedom was less present in the heat, but still blew nonetheless. Everything continued to be as it always had been within the carefree nation of Anemo for the Ingne children chimeras. Despite such peace, one disturbance was still a never-ending pest to behold.

The militaristic footsteps were getting louder, and more dangerous sounding lately. Dread continuing to nibble the cartilage on his ear with a vengeance, his vow of silence continued. Still not saying a single word, the hyena's days sauntered onward into nothingness of no words being spoken whatsoever, for any reason.

Today, however, was the day of the week he had dreaded the most: his mother's weekly allocated social skill day.

Every middle of the week, Siorc had been assigned grocery duties. Knowing his resolve to keep his mouth entirely shut until the militaristic sounding footsteps ceased permanently, the hyena had found a loophole around speaking the ingredients he would have to buy. Teaching himself elaborate hand symbols to get his point across without ever needing to speak a word, the chimera reluctantly took the small grocery bag and mora pouch into the small pockets on his current outfit today.

Being told by his mother they were having Barbatos Ratatouille tonight, the hyena walked over to the general store counter diligently. Generic woman with a white bonnet on her head being present, the adolescent placed his fingers in front of him on top of the brown counter.

"Hey, there!" the generic woman said. "We have good items at very low prices." It was almost as if, when speaking to such person, ones and zeroes determined this line of speech to be the only thing she could say.

Knowing that was his cue, the chimera readied his hands to wordlessly communicate with the merchant behind the counter. Placing his left hand onto the table into a knuckle position, he placed his index finger and middle finger onto his knuckles. Hand looking like a fork, he left the hand symbol onto the table for fifteen seconds to make sure the merchant saw it. After having been present for a decent amount of time, the young man held up four fingers.

Hoping potato would get through to the merchant, he readied his hands to begin the second hand movement. Remembering his mother asked for onions as well, the hyena formed his currently human hand into a fist, but left the index finger out. He placed the index finger onto the side of his eye, rubbing it against it. Waiting another fifteen seconds for the merchant to look at his wordless language, he repeated the movement one more time. Gesture being done twice, he again held up four fingers. Wordless communication coming to an end, the adolescent opened his tiny bag open in front of the merchant.

Being used to this customer not ever speaking a single word to her, the hand signs had come through to her immediately. Not always knowing what he was trying to convey, she knew she had to ask the young man, just in case.

"Potatoes and onions, right?" she asked plainly. Her voice was as generic as her appearance. Ones and zeroes were momentarily dead.

Hearing the woman give him the correct information back, Siorc simply nodded to the merchant. A small smile had formed on his face. Seeing her get it right was a pleasant feeling to behold. Remembering the cost of the produce had been 600 Mora, he opened the money pouch his mother gave him. Tapping the money onto the counter, he watched as the merchant placed the spud and vegetable into the tiny bag. Closing the bag tight, he looked at the merchant one final time while exiting.

"Thank you for coming to Mondstadt General Goods!" the woman answered robotically. "Be sure to visit again." The ones and zeroes had returned again just as quickly as they had left.

Transaction finishing up, the chimera readied his distanced walk home. As he exited through the city's gates, he could hear them yet again, the loud footsteps. They had been especially higher in volume today, for some particular reason. Climbing on top of a tree near the bridge, the hyena readied his wind glider his parents gave him as a present many years prior. Hoping the invisible footsteps always behind him was not able to glide, the adolescent took flight.

House eventually being within a bird's eye view, he descended to the ground a spot adjacent to where his mother had been standing. Landing almost perfectly, no damage had been delivered to his partially human person, or the goods seated in his clothing pocket. Feet being on the ground, he handed his mother the bag of groceries.

Seeing her son use his wind glider, her suspicions had begun to rise inside her. Siorc had very rarely used his wind glider while doing the weekly dinner shopping. Knowing he wouldn't answer her if she asked him what was wrong, the mother of marriage decided a simple greeting was for the best instead.

"Welcome home, Siorc," she said in a soft tone. Asking around the town recently how her son was able to get groceries, she figured she would finally hint that she knew about her oldest child's antics. "I don't know how you're able to get groceries with just your hands, but you did a good job today." Children were incredibly clever creatures.

The adolescent jumped five steps back upon his secret being thrown out into the open. His mother knew about his secret hand signing techniques? Hyena tail sticking out from behind him as the reality sunk in, his body shook nervously. Was his mother about to tell him to use his words while shopping again? He knew such outcome might be about to befall him. Still not saying a word, he continued to stare at his mother's eyes lifelessly.

The mother sighed at the sight of visible panic on her son's face. Seeing his hyena tail present on his partially human person, she grabbed his hand. Perhaps telling him she knew about his secret language was not a good thing, after all. Did he think she was going to take that way from him? Still seeing no interest in him talking, she knew taking such form of communication away would worsen the situation.

"I think it's great you can use your hands like that," she said, praising him. "I'm sure when you're ready to talk again, you'll tell us." She placed her hand upon his back. If people were to see his hyena tail currently out, it would certainly lead to trouble. "Let's go inside and prepare dinner. Hase's home." She continued to guide her son inside.

Children were very interesting creatures.

***

"The footsteps, they've been the loudest they've ever been, lately
Realizing this, I continue to keep my vow,
Even as the days continue on,
Every day I say nothing, not a word, none.
Silence continues to be my only route to safety."


Another two months had passed for the Ingne family chimeras. Everything had still been as it normally was for the family. No changes had occurred within the hyena children's lives in the two months that had quickly marched onward. Life was as free as ever for the entire nation of Mondstadt.

It was the middle of summer within the Anemo nation of freedom. Despite summer usually being a hot time of year, the wind in the air had been blowing especially nicely in the very short evenings of the late summer. A strange Hilichurl could be seen throughout the open wilderness dropping cabbages. Summer was fun, as it was dangerous, throughout the land of Teyvat.

Recently, something of extreme concern overplanted itself in the mother chimera's mind.

A few days before, her husband had brought up a point of extreme oddity to her. Returning from work one day extremely early, he had seen a masked man staring at the house behind a tree. Being a human outside the Ingne bloodline, his hearing had been relatively normal. Although, he knew, the man behind the tree had malicious motives. Surmising this man had been watching their children's every move, the father told his wife his thoughts on the subject.

Surmising from the information her husband gave her that their family was being watched, the hyena mother knew the time was now. She had to ask her son about this. Her son having shark grooves inside his brain, she knew his hearing was far better than hers. Now being knowledgeable about a heinous person could possibly be watching her children, the time had come. Keeping quiet about the situation could occur no longer.

Siorc having gone out to pick up Hase from the neighbor's house an acre away, the mother waited quietly for her two children to return. This time, for sure, she would get to the bottom of what was happening. Her two children eventually being four meters away from her, she readied her lips to speak. The time had come. The hourglasses' sand had finally reached the bottle.

"Siorc," the mother said sternly. She held his currently human hands tight. The blow was ready. "Has someone been watching us? Your father told me he saw an odd man staring at our house recently." Would this break the silence? The mother did not know, but it was worth a shot.

Hearing his mother ask him such a question, tears immediately broke on the hyena's face. His father had saw someone watching the family? The footsteps he had been constantly hearing had been their loudest lately. Despite being asked such question, his vow of silence continued. Tears pouring out endlessly, the chimera nodded weakly. Human hands transforming into hyena ones as he wept, looking into his mother's eyes had become increasingly impossible as the seconds raged onward into minutes.

Seeing her son crying was more than enough confirmation for her. Her husband had been right, Siorc did indeed know someone had been watching him. Perhaps, just maybe, since that was the case, throwing the possible stalker's tracks should come into fruition. Autumn nearly being upon them, an idea blossomed out of control inside her. She would take her children "pumpkin picking" in Wolvendom today. Wiping her son's tears, she was resolute. She would tell her children the plan of action now.

"Hase, would you like to go pumpkin picking?" she asked plottingly. She took two fingers and wriggled them into the air for a moment. "We're going to Wolvendom." The mother headed towards the exit of their house accordingly to signal her readiness.

Hase tilted her head slightly. Pumpkin picking? But it was summer. Seeing the strange movement of her hands, it came to her slowly, but surely. They were not actually going pumpkin picking, but chasing the possible mean man away that was watching the family. Playing along, she faked a happy jump in place like a rabbit hopping around.

"Yay!" she cheered out in a fake happy tone. "Let's go pumpkin picking, mommy!" Being slightly older, becoming attune to adult language was slightly becoming easier for the young preteen chimera.

The mother let out a small grin. Her daughter had definitely been getting smarter, lately. "We are going then," she replied in an instant. "Follow me." Grabbing both her children's hands, the travel to Wolvendom had began.

Surely, just maybe, changing up the routine would mess with the alleged villain's plans.

***
Having arrived at Wolvendom within fifteen minutes, the short distance travel ended abruptly. Being in the forest before, the mother guided her two children to the red device she saw last time. This being only the second time she had ever been here, muscle memory had been the only reliance for her at the moment in time.

Being in the woods again, Siorc tilted his head to the right and left. No matter where he went, he could still hear the loud and dangerous footsteps following behind them. No matter how many times he looked around, no one would ever present themselves to him. Fear overgrowing in the pot inside him, he let go of his mother's hand.

Remembering there had been a hooded boy that lived in the forest with a good sense of smell, the chimera's legs broke out into a sprint. Slowing his sprint down a bit so his mother and sister could follow him, the hyena continued running. Eventually reaching the dome of seclusion, the adolescent ended his sprint. Seeing the hooded boy sitting within the grey dome with a blue sword, the young man pointed to him. He knew pointing was rude, but he knew he had to keep completely silent.

Remembering the boy from last time, Hase bounced about in place. The boy still lived out in the woods? Seeing a familiar face, she no longer had a care in the world. She had to say hello to the boy that had helped them before.

"Hello again, sir!" Hase called out independent of the plan. She waved to him politely. Knowing her brother must have been looking for him for a particular reason, she folded her hands together. "Could you help again, please? We're lost." She mirrored her mother's hand movement earlier. Surely, this was according to the plan.

Siorc rolled his eyes to the sky again. Sir? The boy still did not look any older than they did. Seeing the strange finger movement, however, he figured her saying this was part of the plan. He retracted his eye rolling and nodded to the hooded boy. Looking almost no different than he did two years ago, he hoped the boy recognized his family.

Before responding, the hooded boy sniffed the chimera children. Unlike last time, he had sensed danger in their scent. Purple orb glowing on his back, a shadowy purple claw appeared behind him. "I smell danger!" he growled. "Kid's Lupical, step aside."

Mother grabbing her two children's hands, she walked them over to a tree nearby. Seeing a vision on the back of the strange boy's clothes, she supposed leaving this to a stranger was the only choice she had. She wished that she had been granted a vision when she was younger, but such incident had never occurred.

Kids and mother being out of the way, the hooded boy growled to the sky. Purple wolf shadow being behind him, the phantom slashed the air sharply. As the slashes continued, a masked man became completely visible. Invisible camouflage being completely uprooted, the hooded boy continued to slash at the man.

"Leave lupical alone!" the hooded boy shouted. The purple phantom wolf continued to slash the masked man. "Watching people, bad!" Striking one final time, before the phantom wolf disappeared, the man had been on the ground. Phantom wolf disappearing, the hooded boy readied to summon a weapon in front of him. As such summoning began, the man had vanished in an instant, just like the phantom wolf had seconds before. It was almost as if, in a world outside Teyvat, such wolf spirit would be considered a power known as a Stand. But, such information was unknown to everyone within the continent.

Seeing the masked man come and go, a sickening anger boiled inside the mother's partially human body. Her husband was right, someone had indeed been watching her entire family. Knowing now that the person was hiding in plain sight, she would now be more on guard than ever. She knew what she had to do, going forward. Resolute on making some changes to throw the man off if he were to continue his heinous deeds, the mother turned to the hooded boy. A thank you was in order for him.

"Thank you very much for helping my children again, young man," the mother said to the hooded boy. She then turned to her two children. "We're heading home now." She then turned to Siorc exclusively. "Siorc, if you sense that man stepping behind you again, please tell me." Grabbing both of her children's hands, a motherly thought placed itself in her mind as the return to home crept forward.

This entire time, was her son being silent to keep that masked man from acting?

***
Having Teleported himself back to the permafrost north before his defeat could happen, the masked man entered the palace politely. While he knew failure could lead to punishment by death, he knew he had to relay his exposure to Her Majesty, regardless. Time was ticking before her plan would be set into motion.

Blue carpet being beneath his feet, the Fatui readied for the possible stomach cutting punishment to befall him for his failure to stay hidden. Disappointing her Majesty was never an outcome one usually came out alive for within the blue palace walls.

"Your Majesty," the masked man said. He bowed his head on cue. "I was exposed today, my utmost apologies." Failure leaving his lips, the man undid his coat to prepare for his life's end. Disappointment would surely grace his Cryo Archon within seconds of the news of failure reaching her.

Seeing her property undressing his stomach, a bitter laugh broke from Her Majesty's throat. While his exposure had been a usual punishment by death, the soldier had still been useful yet. Having another one of her soldiers steal a Mondstadt's Knights Uniform in case of such emergency, the Archon caressed her property's cheek coldly.

"You're lucky I still have use for you, my dear soldier," she said, her voice was soft and demeaning. Taking out the stolen knight's uniform, she handed it to her property. "Wear this uniform tomorrow, and continue watching them." She caressed her property's cheek. "But, next time you fail, there will be no mercy. Remember that." She continued to caress her property's cheek harder, dry ice burning it slightly.

Being given the Knight's uniform, the Fatui smirked beneath the mask.

A knight's disguise, what a clever idea, indeed.

***
Even now, I still hear those loud and violent footsteps.
Auspiciously, a knight has started appearing.
Really, I am honestly still suspicious.
Ritualistically, now, I still remain completely silent.
I'm starting to think, those footsteps are now permanent.
Not saying a word, I continue to keep myself on guard,
Glaring at that knight allegedly patrolling,
Silence is still something I need.


Seven weeks had passed since the discovery of a hidden masked man watching the Ingne family had occurred. Slight security measures had been put into place for the young hyena children. Knowing for certain now someone was watching her children, the mother would take her daughter to the neighbor's house. Going alone was no longer an option for the young girl hyena.

For temporary measure, collecting the groceries had been halted for Siorc. Mother going with him, she would instead communicate the items she needed. Telling her son he could just carry the bags, normal routines were in cryogenic freezing. Knowing that someone malicious was always around, the mother of marriage would not let her guard down, even for a moment.

Guard being up, the footsteps could still be heard. Footsteps changing trajectory, an oddity had occurred near the completely open family of hyena chimeras. For awhile now, a knight had been patrolling the area almost randomly one day. Something about the knight had been odd, almost menacing. Knights of Favonius very rarely patrolling the area they had lived in, seeing such person was uncustomary to be had, for sure.

Knight claiming the area had an increase in monsters around the area lately, the mother's suspicions foolishly cooled down inside her. Never really venturing too far within the capital city in Mondstadt, she supposed a knight patrolling in the area was normal. Not questioning the knight, the patrol continued.

It was now fall in Mondstadt. Almost two years had passed since the chimera children had gone pumpkin picking. Knight patrolling around, she knew the inevitability of her daughter asking again would come into fruition. Feeling slightly safer with a knight patrolling the area for monsters, she figured today would be a good day to repeat the action of allowing her daughter to pick the orange fruit.

Resolute on such decision, she grabbed her two children's hands. Slightly reverting back to keeping her children hidden for awhile, a slight change of scenery was necessary, for a little while. Exiting the house with her two children in tow, the three wordlessly walked off to Wolvendom.

Watching as the Ingnes walked off into the forest, the disguised Fatui stared at the forest house menacingly. Having now gotten a closer look at the house lately due to his Knight ruse, something of immediate interest graced him. In the fall, the family left their windows open during the day. Family being away, the currently unmasked man knew it was time.

It was time to set the final parts of the plan into motion.

Being instructed to create a portable waypoint, the Fatui climbed through the open window with a malevolent look on his face. Eventually being inside the house, a room with violet walls was diagonal in his peripheral vision. Seeing the name Siorc printed on the walls, the man placed the portable waypoint modified to be invisible by Snezhnaya technology down onto the carpeted floor. Plan set into motion, the faux knight highlighted the Waypoint to the Palace one final time.

Everything had been in place. Soon, it would finally be time.

***

Having arrived at the permafrost north again, the man in disguise walked into the palace with due diligence. Blue carpet beneath him, he closed the doors behind him with a loyal shut. As his arrival had resounded in the area, he noticed something as the carpet before him had an extra set of feet on it.

In front of Her Majesty was a clown of a man. The man had messy, but short cadet blue hair. His outfit was an oddity to be had, for sure. Only being able to see the back, the back of the outfit was white. Hearing a conversation take place, the currently fake knight waited his turn.

"Soon, my dear, you will have a new toy to play with," Her Majesty exclaimed. Her tone was dark, and menacing. "He's a chimera with parts of a shark brain inside him."

The mysterious second person bit his glove gleefully. A chimera, with a shark brain. Chimeras not being fully human, many inhumane experiments flooded the mysterious man's brain. Surely, such specimen would be an absolute joy to cut up for experiments.

"Magnificent, Magnifique," the mysterious second person said. His voice was exaggerated, but menacing. "He sounds like fun. I can't wait to cut him open!" A mentally unsound cackle broke from the chambers of his throat. Soon, he would have a new experiment to do as he wished with.

Hearing the sound of another one of her Fatui entering her palace, the Cryo Archon walked over to her property. Seeing the soldier there, and a new waypoint appearing within her hacked map, she knew her property had been completely successful in his mission.

"You did well, my dear soldier," she said to the disguised Fatui. Her voice was soft, but demeaning. "For all your efforts, I will award you gracefully." She caressed her lovely soldier's cheek. "Check your bedside table tomorrow morning." A sinister smile graced Her Majesty's face. It was almost time. Only one week had remained.

The pawns on the chessboard were all in place.

Palamon

Has sent out Pikachu!

Age 25
he/him
Snezhnaya, Teyvat.
Seen 7 Hours Ago
Posted 1 Day Ago
7,320 posts
13.5 Years
5. The Abduction of Siorc Ingne and Dragonspine

"For some reason, I feel
Like something might be about to happen to me
Only a week ago did those footsteps cease, so
Why do I still feel
Especially uneasy?
Right now, anything might happen to me
Silence is key."


About a week had passed since the two chimera children had gone pumpkin picking again. Life had almost reversed back to how it had been two years prior for the Ingne family hyenas. Potential of another person watching the family possibly arising, more precautionary measures had been created after the small adventure had ended. New egg of partial secrecy being hatched, the family had begun to take a few steps backwards on the openness they had previously.

Precautionary measures being mandatory, the mother would take her daughter to the neighbor's house with her son following behind in tow. No longer allowing the younger hyena to go over to the elderly neighbor's house every single day, a new pattern had been established within the preteen chimera girl's life. Such changes were not sudden, and expected, Hase begrudgingly started adapting to her reduced routine of helping with chores.

While such reductions had occurred for the younger daughter, previous precautionary measures placed upon him had stayed in place for the adolescent chimera. Mother still going with him during his weekly shopping heists, nothing was especially different for the older hyena son. Shopping for the weekly groceries being mostly the same, the young man's life proceeded as normal as the week marched onward. Despite such current normalities being prominent, one change, but sudden change had occurred within the hyena's life.

The dangerous, militaristic footsteps had completely stopped.

A day after the orange fruit picking adventure, the footsteps had stopped following behind the chimera everywhere he would go. Knight oddly no longer patrolling around the area as well, everything had gone quiet from behind the hyena in the past seven days. Despite such outcome solidifying into place, the hyena could not help but feel a sense of unease bubble into overdrive.

Footsteps completely stopping, an unsettling, and disturbing thought graced the chambers of the adolescent's partially human brain. Something bad was certainly about to befall his family. Knight mysteriously disappearing along with the footsteps, the sense of unease inside him would not cease for even a moment. The footsteps ceasing, and the knight vanishing, the chimera knew such could not possibly be a coincidence. Realizing such abnormality to be the case, Siorc remained silent.

Sense of dread continuing to grow throughout the seven days, the hyena knew silence was key. At any moment, something sinister could befall his family. Walls being thin, the chimera would not let the gone knight possibly plotting elsewhere to win. Continuing his vow of complete silence, the week dragged itself forward with heeded caution.

Today, such moments of silence would come to a forced permanent halt. The hyena's current life was about to die permanently.

It was a fall evening in Mondstadt. The cold wind of freedom blew continuously as the leaves fell off the trees. Hilichurls were slumbering in the wilderness separately away from humanity, as usual. Everything within nature had been the same as it ever was, for the moment at hand. Winds blowing like always, the day had been a normal one for the hyena family reversed to near secrecy.

Mother of marriage wishing to cook Northern Smoked Chicken for dinner tonight, his mother and he had gone out to the capital city of freedom to purchase the ingredients. The city limits being a twenty minute walk away on foot, the chimera walked behind on the path before him in complete silence. Evenings being the most unsafe time of the day, the hyena kept his guard up at all times. Left hyena paw on standby in case danger were to arise, the young man was on the al*ert. Black cloak covering him, hiding his transformed hand was of no trouble.

Mondstadt General Store being a countertop away, sense of dread continued to make a meal out of the adolescent chimera. The knight that suddenly vanished the other day, who were they? The footsteps suddenly halting with the Knight's absence, they had to be connected. As such thoughts played endlessly inside him, a sinister realization hugged him from behind his black cloak.

Today could be one of the final days with his family. Watching as his mother readied to speak to the white bonnet merchant behind the counter, Siorc walked fifteen steps to the left. Knowing his mother took a long while to shop for ingredients, slipping away for a moment would be no issue. Large black and white dog being beside an unoccupied shelf, the young man crouched down onto his currently human knees. Stroking the canine's fur, momentary bliss poured inside him. Such moment of joy was short lived, however, as the sound of his mother's scolding resounded through his eardrums.

"Siorc, what in the world are you doing?" the mother asked sternly, currently human hands sitting upon her hips. "You know you aren't supposed to be wandering off right now." A sigh released from her throat at the vision of her son petting a dog. Siorc usually being the slightly better behaved of her two children, seeing such disobedience was an alarming disturbance to be had, for sure. "Please stop petting that dog." Her voice was low and exasperated.

Siorc flinched upon hearing his mother's words. Removing his hand from the dog's fur, he jumped nine steps back. His mother had been done shopping already? A shock to be had, for sure. Seeing the full bags of produce in her hands, the hyena lightly grabbed the bag from her hands in complete silence. Groceries in hand, he bowed his head in apology to his mother adjacent to him. He knew such act was forbidden of him currently, but the feeling of dread would not cease. Bowing his head one more time, he hoped such apology would get through.

Seeing her son bow his head to her in remorse, another small sigh released from her partially human throat. Noticing oddities in his behavior over the past week, she supposed lowering her sternness could suffice, for now. Groceries being removed from her partially human person, she grabbed her son's unoccupied hand. The time had come to return home.

"It's alright, I'm not mad," she said quietly. Her voice was barely audible. Knowing the elderly neighbor had brought Hase home by now, the mother readied her next words carefully. "Hase should be home by now, it's about time we head back." Son's cloaked hyena paw laced in her hand, the escort to home began.

Hyena paw being held, the two walked across the bridge outside the capital city. Birds flying away as the two chimeras strolled the pathway, the hyena stared lifelessly at the scenery before him. Fragrant Cedar tree leaves blowing on the wind, he watched as the leaves floated around in the breeze as the long stroll home roared onward.

Twenty minutes passing, the house near the forest had eventually been within the double purple eyed field of vision. Small home being closer with every step, the mother of marriage let go of her son's hand. Hase being on the porch, she opened the door to their home immediately. Two children following behind her, she closed the door behind her with a loud boom.

Moving towards the dining room table, the mother looked at her two children diligently. The time to cook dinner had come. Husband not coming home for a long while, dinner would be between the three of them. Siorc handing her the grocery bag, she opened the small pouch of produce and meat. Setting the heat onto the stove, she again turned to her two children.

"Hase, set the table, please," she said, purple eyes glued to the jade. She then turned to Siorc. "And, Siorc, peel the onions and chop the head of lettuce." Instructions being given, she took the piece of raw fowl and prepared to place it into the cooking pot.

Hearing the orders to set the table, Hase sprinted to the cabinet. Three tiny forks in hand, she placed them onto the brown wooden table. Napkins being placed next to the utensil, she then proceeded to place three plates near the wooden countertop. Whiffing a scent of chicken radiate through the air, a small smile grew on her face.

"Are we having Northern Smoked Chicken tonight, mommy?" Hase asked gleefully. Chicken being a personal favorite, she bounced in place like a rabbit.

Table having been set, the mother smiled in kind at her daughter. Her family never being picky eaters, seeing such joy during dinnertime was a nice sight to behold, for sure. Large piece of fowl being cut up, she turned to her energetic daughter bouncing about.

"Yes," she replied. Small bliss evident throughout her voice. "We are having Northern Smoked Chicken tonight." As the cut up piece of fowl was placed into the stove pot, she turned to her son who had been unravelling the lettuce in complete silence. "You're doing well, Siorc. Keep it up." There was a slight ounce of pride in her voice.

Hearing his mother's praises, Siorc let out a tiny smile. Lettuce eventually being completely unwrapped, he placed the sea of edible leaves into the pot with the chicken. Green vegetable being finished, he readied to peel the onion. As the peeling began, and the strong scent of sulfur littered his nostrils, chemical induced tears streamed down his face. As the tears from peeling the purple vegetable fell, the same thought from earlier returned within the chambers of his partially human brain. Today could be the final moments he had with his family. This could possibly be his last supper. Whatever the last supper was, such painting was unknown to the chimera. Onion finally being peeled fully, he placed the naked bud into the cooking pot. Wiping the tears away, the hyena placed himself on the dining room chair as the stove roared.

A ding sound eventually resonating throughout the area, the mother placed the sliced chicken, diced onions and ripped lettuce onto the three plates beside her. Placing the plates on the table, she pulled out her chair. Rear and seat meeting, she held onto the metal utensil. Dinner was served.

After everyone had been seated, the young man stared down at the chicken upon his plate. The feeling inside him would not cease, for even a moment. The thought gripped him harder as the seconds turned into minutes. Biting into the cooked chicken, he turned his head to his mother and sister. The person who had been watching the entire family for years, at any moment, he would return. The dinner he was having right at this moment, it could be his very last one with his family. With every bite he could muster, another quiet, but foreboding thought crawled into the crevices of his mind.

He had to apologize. Apologize to his mother, apologize to Hase. If his tail had not popped out the day they had gone pumpkin picking, none of the events that had occurred over the past two years would have happened. His family would not have been watched; danger would not have come for them. If his final days were to be upon him, he knew an apology had to be in order.

But no such apology would leave his lips. Clam closing itself firmly shut, no apology would ever come into fruition. Failure solidifying into place, tears streamed down the chimera's face. Plate becoming less visible as the tears continued to roll, a sniffle echoed throughout the dining room.

Seeing her son weep, immediate concern graced the mother's face. Taking a final bite of the lettuce on her plate, she pushed the plate away from her. Siorc having wandered off earlier before, her worries had only grown throughout the day. Just what was up with her son today? Was something bothering him? Even if no answer were to ever arrive, she knew she had to ask him what the conundrum was, regardless.

"Siorc, is something the matter?" she asked, concern unable to hide in her voice. "You're crying." Regardless of whether an answer were to arrive or not, asking such was necessary.

Hearing his mother's concern, the chimera wiped his tears away. Reminding himself about his vow of silence, the hyena shook his head. All the words that could have been said would not leave the chambers of his throat. Nothing of which he wanted to say would come out. Shaking his head one final time, the young man grabbed the plate and fork in front of him. Taking the other finished plates upon the table, he soaked the dirtied plates within a tiny bucket of water quietly. Water removing residue from the plates, he placed the eatery tools away. He knew cleaning the dishes was a deflection, but no words would escape him. Silence still reigned supreme.

Watching as Siorc did the dishes, another defeated sigh released from the mother's throat. She figured a verbal answer would never arrive. Being used to it, she knew she had to say something to him. While telling her what the issue was would be for the best, pushing him to talk would only worsen the situation.

"If you don't want to talk about it, it's alright," the mother said, quietly, sternness still evident throughout. "I'm sure when you're ready to talk again, you'll tell us." Removing herself from the dining room chair, she placed herself next to her son. She placed her hand onto his currently human right shoulder. "Dinner is over now, so, you may go and relax, if you wish, before bedtime." She could feel an extreme amount of tenseness within her child's shoulders. Something heavy was on his mind, but pushing the subject would not help matters. Taking her hand off his shoulder, the mother of marriage exited into her bedroom.

Mother having exited, the chimera sat down onto the couch lifelessly. Everything around him being turned off like a switch, the thoughts of dread played again inside him on repeat. The footsteps ceasing suddenly, it was certainly not a good thing. His days were numbered. At any moment, the man would return, and ruin his family. Every day could be the final day for him and his family. Doom devouring him whole, the thoughts continued to circle through him as his bedtime loomed closer.

Scheduled sleep time arriving, the hyena removed his hairpins and earrings. He placed them into a small wooden box beside his bed. Jewelry and accessories being removed, the adolescent placed himself under the covers. As the world of sleep took him, one final thought buzzed through his dozing mind.

Today could be the last day he would be able to see his family.

***

As late night had fallen within the Anemo nation of Mondastadt, the Cryo Archon within the nation of Snezhnaya was ready. Subordinate having been hired within a week's time, the final piece on the chessboard had been in place. The time had come. Within minutes time, the chimera could finally be hers. The final piece being ready, Her Majesty removed her left leg crusted into her thigh.

As she stood, the Archon removed the hacked map with every Teleport Waypoint in the continent accessible to her from her robed pocket. Highlighting the portable waypoint placed within the Ingne's home, a sinister smirk grew on her face. Any second now, he would finally be hers. The young man who could summon and hide his animal traits at will. He would provide many of uses for her within her Fatui army. As the teleportation to the house began, the smirk upon her face continued to grow larger.

Violet walls smeared with the word Siorc soon being present, Her Majesty readied herself. Removing a piece of paper and quilled pen from her other robed pocket, the Cryo Archon wrote a note to the family fervently. Writing the simple sentence, "your son is mine now," she slammed the piece of paper down onto a wooden box near the bed.

Letter being written, she looked down upon the sleeping young man within her royal field of vision. His short purple hair, and small body. They were hers now. His entire person was now her property, her soldier. Yanking the covers tucked over him, Her Majesty placed the sleeping chimera onto her back. Property being secured, she quickly highlighted the waypoint to the palace.

Arriving at the permafrost north again, she opened the door ceremoniously. Placing the sleeping soldier onto the cold blue carpet, the smirk upon her face widened further. Whenever her lovely chimera were to awaken, everything could start.

Folding her hands together, all her plans leaked into the blue walls around her. Her new soldier laid down on the carpet below her, diplomacy would be a perfect fit for him. Slowly, but surely, she would have him explore the other regions within the world of Teyvat with his subordinate in tow. All six other nations would soon be within the palm of her royal fingertips.

Seeing his name clearly printed upon the walls of the room, Her Majesty let out a royal laugh. Placing her gloved hand onto the root of her chin, she gave one final look at her sleeping property upon her rug of dark blue ice shading. A shark within her Fatui army would be the perfect addition indeed. Placing her second hand upon her cheek, her smirk turned into a wide grin.

Diplomatic Soldier Siorc had a nice ring to it.

***

"Waking up today could not be any more terrifying,
I'm not sure where I am, but I know I can't say anything.
Nowhere familiar to me, I scream inside me
Definitely, there is no way I can go back home, certainly."


When the chimera had awoken that morning, immediate fear had wrapped vines around his small adolescent body. He was not in his room back in Mondstadt. As such reality sunk within him, the dread cemented itself into place. The footsteps ceasing, and that knight vanishing, he knew his suspicions were correct. In a matter of moments, a flood of realities drowned him upon contact. His childhood was gone. Stolen away, everything was gone, taken; removed.

Realizing the situation before him, the hyena studied the room he had been taken to diligently. Below him had been a dark blue carpet. The carpet was incredibly regal looking, and high quality. Continuing his examination, he turned his head to the left. To the side of him were light blue walls. The walls looked cold, and icy looking. Tilting his head upward, he could see a long staircase leading up to multiple glass domes above. Ending his examination of the area, a gulp released from his partially human throat. He had been in a palace somewhere. Was he in the presence of royalty? The chimera did not know, but he knew nothing good was about to befall him.

Turning his head to the right, he noticed two people had been standing upon a throne. On the throne chair sat an incredibly tall woman. The woman had long flowing silver hair that reached to her bottom. Upon her head had been a golden crown nestled into her hair gently. The woman's eyes were cyan, and freezing. Her clothes had been nothing like the adolescent chimera had ever seen before. Dark blue cape on her back, and silver clothing upon her, the outfit was nothing like the hyena had ever seen before. He knew, just from looking at the woman before him, a chill had run down his partially human spine. This woman, was she a queen? Never having learned much about royalty, a second gulp released from the chambers of his throat.

Noticing the second person next to her, Siorc studied the other person with due diligence. Next to the alleged by his mind queen was another tall person. Man's face being covered with a mask, seeing their facial expressions was an impossibility to be had, for sure. The person wore a brown hooded outfit, with a black fur collar. Upon his neck was a small brown scarf with orange tipped throughout it. On his chest had been a strange red-orange orb with a symbol traced upon it. Seeing such an orb, the young man could feel a sinister aura radiating throughout it.

Looking at the symbol upon the tall hooded person's orb, something within the hyena's partially human brain clicked. That symbol, he had seen it somewhere before. The person that had been watching him for so long, he was one of those people. One of the people who had staged his removal from his home. He could feel defeat boil inside him as the reality of the situation blossomed into a flowering plant within him.

This was his life now, there was no way he could escape.

The woman in front of him on the throne, he could tell immediately. Her aura was menacing, like a certain unknown blonde undead creature in another universe. Just from looking at her, he knew. Questions could never be asked, complaints would have to stay at the door, and desires would have to disappear. Everything would have to exit him, right away.

Seeing her property awake, Her Majesty crusted her right leg into her left thigh royally. Her newly obtained property had been awake and al*ert. Chess board ready to be played, she readied her explanation to the confused hyena before her.

"Welcome to the Fatui, my lovely chimera," Her Majesty said. Her voice was cold, and demanding in tone. "I am the Tsaritsa, and starting today. You're one of my Diplomatic Fatui Soldiers." She placed a bag of specially crafted uniforms onto the seat of her lap. Pointing to the person next to her, she readied her next introduction. "This is your subordinate, the Fatui Agent." She then jerked her finger at Siorc. The clothes upon his body were a disgusting sight to behold. She wished for them to be gone this instant. "Change into your uniform for me, my dear soldier. That outfit you're currently wearing is quite hideous." She smirked as such orders were relayed. The first checkmate upon the chessboard had been cleared.

Hearing his orders to change into a uniform, the newly appointed soldier's legs broke out into a sprint. Having no choice in the matter whatsoever, the chimera took the bags being held out for him like candy being given out to a child. The aura from this woman, he knew he had no choice. His silence, he had to break it, immediately. Motioning his lips to speak for the first time in a year, he could feel his mouth shake as the words poured out of him.

"Yes, Your Majesty," Siorc replied robotically, voice barely audible. "Right away." Not wanting something like this to be the reason he broke his silence, a tiny seed of disgust planted itself inside him. He knew the choice was not his in any way, the silence had to be removed from within him, for a moment.

Uniforms being encased in sealing, the chimera undid the sealant. Removing a folded uniform from the bag, he examined it quietly. Underneath the folded uniform had been two black shirts. Removing his generic Mondstadt outfit, he placed the two black shirts onto his partially human body. Shirts being secured, he stared at the main portion of his uniform with no life in his eyes. The uniform was a large brown winter coat, with six buttons situated at the top section. On the sleeves had been those odd symbols he had seen on the Agent's red-orange orb. Behind the coat had been a fur caped bottom, with a purple end on the edges. Brown pants with said purple streak also being present, the uniform was nothing like his subordinate's in front of him. Had it been custom made? Remembering the aura Her Majesty had given off, he knew a single question was not allowed for him. Undoing the buttons on the front of the coat, the hyena put on his brand new uniform. Everything having been put on, the newly appointed soldier turned to the Tsaritsa again. Seeing her cyan eyes, an epitome broke inside him.

Her Majesty was the Cryo Archon. Very vaguely hearing about there having been seven nations, and seven Archons within the world of Teyvat, one final seed of fear planted itself within the dormant shark grooves inside his brain. The seed was growing rapidly, but surely.

He knew immediately, if he wished to survive, he had to accept it; accept that he was a Fatui now. His life was no longer his. His family would no longer get to see him again. Accepting his fate, he awaited Her Majesty's next words with a terrified, but accepted vigor.

Uniform being on her property's body, a dark and sinister smile plastered itself onto Her Majesty's face. Everything being ready, she held her hand out for her lovely chimera to hand her the disgusting clothes of Mondstadt every day wear. Such vile clothing of freedom needed to be disposed of properly.

"Give your old clothes here, my lovely chimera," she said. Her tone was low and demanding. She continued to hold her hand out like expecting to get an invitation to a party. "Right this instant." Time was not a virtue for Her Majesty.

Being ordered to hand over his old clothes, the young man folded his former Mondstadt wear and handed the articles of clothing to Her Majesty. Seeing his former life within her gloved hands, a nearly inaudible sigh dragged out from the esophagus. His old life already fading away, he closed his eyes for a moment.

This was it, he had to accept it. This was his life now. He was a Fatui Soldier.

Former clothes of disgust being handed to her, Her Majesty caressed her newly acquired property's cheek. The next part of the plan was ready to be set into motion. Pointing her unoccupied hand at the Agent, the next stages were beginning to take shape.

"Your Subordinate shall take you to your new room," Her Majesty said, her tone was soft, but demeaning. "You'll start working tomorrow." She continued to caress her property's cheek. She was ready to deliver the final blow. "Oh, and, you best not disappoint me. One too many disappointments, and you can kiss your life goodbye." She laughed royally as such remark was uttered. All the steps had been in motion.

Agent knowing that was his cue, he grabbed his new subordinate's wrist tightly. Grip imprisoning him, the young man being able to escape was not a possibility that could ever occur. Lock on his wrist being glued, the walk to the military barracks began. Doors behind the two of them being shut, everything was beginning. The true start to his career as a Fatui.

Feeling the grip of his new subordinate locking him, defeat resounded throughout the area. As the Agent dragged him, Siorc examined the scenery presented before him. The entire world beneath his feet had been snow, and ice. The snow had been deep, and expansive. Every single building in the distance had been white with snow. With any amount of effort, he titled his head to the sky. The sun was nowhere to be seen. Everything had been gloomy, and cold. Snow looking like it rarely, if ever, melted, a realization seeded further inside him.

He had whisked away to Snezhnaya. The permafrost Cryo nation of the north. He had been more than fifteen thousand meters away from home. Thousands upon thousands of meters away from Mondstadt, away from his family. He knew now more than ever before, there was no escaping the new life presented before him, none whatsoever.

Room within the military barracks eventually being within his field of vision, the newly appointed soldier stared at the room presented before him. The room was small, with only a drawer, window and bed being present within it. The barracks felt cold, and gloomy, just like the nation outside him. Wrist being let go of, the Agent had instructed him to put his uniforms away. Knowing he had no choice, the adolescent had begun the act of placing his uniforms into the small drawers.

Uniforms eventually all having been folded and put away, tiredness took him immediately. Information of the entire ordeal spinning inside his head, he slumped onto his forced upon new bed. The bed was hard, and uncomfortable, but the choice was not his. Sleep eventually taking him, one final thought echoed throughout the chambers of his partially human mind.

He needed to be diligent in order to survive. Diligent, and silent, if he wished to keep on living. Whether he liked it or not, his former life was over, dead and gone. His life in Mondstadt was a corpse in the casket. The thought ruminated in his mind one more time as the world of sleep beaconed him.

Diligence was key to successful living in his new life.

***

The sound of alarm bells screeched throughout the area with a deafening roar. As the alarm bells continued blaring, countless Fatui Soldiers groaned in a chorus. The alarm bells were completely on schedule. Alarm bells persisting for minutes on end, the loud groans echoed throughout the military barracks endlessly. No soldier was ready to begin the day at hand.

Hearing the loud cacophony was enough to awaken Siorc from his especially deep slumber. The loud noises bouncing off the walls had been louder than any sirens blaring throughout. Seeing the room before him still being what was in front of his eyes, everything immediately glued into place. None of what was happening was a dream. The chimera had tiny hope, a small wish that all of this was just a dream, a fabrication. Waking up in the place he had slept, however, he knew such hope had to die within him.

Everything being real, the chimera raised from the uncomfortable bed diligently. Remembering Her Majesty said his work would start the next day, he knew he had to be ready for his subordinate's arrival. Putting on a clean uniform, the hyena was ready for his orders to be relayed to him at any moment. Uniform being glued onto him, he motioned his hands into autopilot to clip on his hairpins and earrings. An immediate horror graced his purple eyed field of vision as the action of his old routine took over for a periodic moment.

His hairpins and earrings were not with him. None of them were in the military barracks.

Small bowl of food rations being on top of the area where his hairpins and earrings would have been if he were home, uneasiness quickly blossomed inside him. Being without them, he could feel some of his functions within him dissipate. It was almost like being naked on public display. Anxiety continuing to bubble, the newly appointed soldier waited for his subordinate silently.

As the chimera devoured the flavorless rations, the sound of militaristic footsteps roared throughout the area. The footsteps were similar to the ones he had heard following behind him back in his last two years within his stolen childhood. There had no longer been any doubts within the hyena's mind. The footsteps he had been hearing all those times, they were the footsteps of a Fatui.

Volume of footsteps eventually reaching zero, the hyena finished his food rations. Sand of a meal grating his sharp teeth, he put on his most diligent face possible. His life no longer being one of freedom, he knew he had to be as obedient as possible. Work mode switching on inside him, he awaited his orders diligently.

"Diplomatic Soldier Siorc," the Fatui Agent called out for the first time. "We are delivering emergency rations in Dragonspine today for your first duties." The masked Agent made unseen eye contact with his new commander in arms. A small bag shook in his hands vigorously. First day on the job, first assignment being given.

Siorc flinched upon hearing the name Dragonspine. Never having been there, knowledge of the area was a limited resource for the adolescent chimera. Just where was Dragonspine? The hyena had never heard of such area before. Remembering the aura from Her Majesty, however, he knew asking questions was not something that was allowed to him anymore as a new Fatui Soldier.

Dragonspine echoing in his ears, the adolescent stared off into space. Dragonspine, could it have been an area within the permafrost north he had been in now? The chimera did not know, but no questions would leave his throat regardless of the amount flooding the chambers of his brain. He supposed going to the area of mystery could answer any forbidden question bubbling about illegally.

"Diplomatic Soldier Siorc!" the Fatui Agent called out again. Why had his subordinate not responded to him immediately? An oddity to be had, for sure. Perhaps the young man had not heard him clearly enough. He would repeat the instructions again. "Did you not hear me? We are delivering emergency rations in Dragonspine today. Get a move on!" There was an aggravated tone in his voice. What could possibly be on his subordinate's mind besides work? He could not grasp such other thoughts existing.

Hearing the name Dragonspine again, the chimera jumped two steps backs. Grabbing the bag held out in his subordinate's hands, he placed it onto his back in a crooked position. Realizing he was being probed into an answer, he motioned his lips to speak.

"Yes, sir," he replied autonomously. His words were robotic, almost automatic in tone. Feeling like he had no choice but to respond, the words had no emotion in them.

Seeing the bag crooked upon his bag, the Agent readjusted the position. Remembering Her Majesty had one more instruction for him before leaving, the Fatui removed an odd Snezhnaya device from his pocket. Placing it into his subordinate's hands, he again gave him masked eye contact.

"Her Majesty instructed I give this to you," the Agent replied on cue. "It is a Teleport Waypoint Proxy Map to get around Teyvat." An unseen smile was beneath the Agent's mask as the device was given to him. "Keep it with you at all times."

Siorc examined the device placed into his currently human hands with due diligence. In his hands was a strange orb that was expandable. Opening up the orb presented a map of the seven regions within Teyvat. White markers being tinged with blue in every corner of the map, the words proxy map ringed in his ears. Looking at the map, he eventually stumbled upon the Dragonspine map markers.

Highlighting one of Waypoints to Dragonspine, he closed the device into orb form, and placed it within his uniform pockets. Never having teleported anywhere before in his entire life, he knew the experience would not be a kind one.

Seeing the correct Waypoint had been highlighted, the Agent gripped his subordinate's arm firmly. Feeling imprisoned by the grip, escape was not all possible, even if he had wished to. Gripping prison was a strong, and relentless hold on him.

As the teleportation to an area began, an extremely bright light radiated throughout the area. The light was impossible. Feeling the light almost burn his eyes if they were to stay open any longer, the new soldier closed his eyes almost on cue. Frozen northern land vanishing into white, the white light continued to grow stronger as the area had begun to warp.

Teleportation was an absolutely blinding spectacle.

***

"Right beneath my feet is snow, and ice
All consuming me with chills, and shivering
Being in a world of warmth for so long,
Bitter cold is not something I have ever been privy to
Inside this ice, I can feel myself about to fall
Temperature around me dropping, in this bed of snow"


Upon reaching an area unknown to him within Dragonspine through the Teleport Waypoint, the chimera examined the area in front of him diligently. The area had been covered in snow, and ice. Cliffs had been everywhere within his field of vision. Within a distance had been a strange red tree pulsating odd energy. Never having been in such an area before, and hairpins and earrings not being on him, uneasiness continued to eat away at him swiftly.

Having been removed from the gripping prison, the hyena readied to begin his first ever military duties with reluctance. Being instructed by the Fatui Agent to deliver supplies to a camp a short distance away, the chimera sauntered onward. An odd, but ominous order had been given to him, however, as such in his very first instructions. He was to deliver supplies alone. Routes being split up to other directions in the area, a small gulp released from his throat.

Small camp being within a field of vision's distance, the new soldier had begun his duties of delivering the emergency supplies. Camp being northwest of the waypoint he was situated at, the young man had begun walking. Being told to look for a blue tent, the chimera would not falter. Disappointment would not ever reach Her Majesty if such act were to be done diligently.

An astronomically incorrect assumption, on his part.

With every step he took, his body grew colder. As the blue tent continued to get closer, Siorc shivered relentlessly. He swore, with every continued step he took, he kept getting colder. He knew, however, he could not falter. He had to deliver the supplies. If he did a good job, his forced upon new life would not be a horrific one.

Tent finally being within two meters of him, a tall purple Fatui with a large hammer ripped the supplies on his back like paper being torn in half. Supplies being delivered, returning to the Waypoint he had arrived at were his next instructions. Agent telling him to meet him there, the chimera turned his heelless uniform shoes to the northeast direction.

As he continued walking towards the waypoint, the shivering only got stronger. With every continued step, he felt even more frigid. Agent being within his field of vision, his legs broke into a tiny sprint. Such sprint was short lived. Sprint being interrupted by a cold feeling within his chest, his body temperature dropped significantly.

As the feeling of his chest freezing overtook him, he could feel his body sink to the snow beneath him. Blackness overtook him as his body temperature dropped even more. As the world of unconsciousness was about to remove him, a pained thought shot through him like a gun on a battlefield.

Her Majesty would be disappointed in him.

***

Waking up the next morning in his new bed within the military barracks, a small scream broke from within the chambers of Siorc's throat. Dragonspine had been an absolutely harsh area. Still not knowing exactly where within Teyvat the area was, anxiety continued to hug the newly appointed soldier from behind. Praying to the Anemo Archon he formerly had worshipped such orders would not be relayed to him today, the hyena closed his eyes.

The luck, and his former Archon were not on his side. Agent telling him he would have to deliver supplies in Dragonspine again today, the adolescent rushed his new morning routine of dressing the body. Hairpins and earrings still not being on his person, functioning to his normal levels was still an impossibility for the young soldier.

Eventually having arrived in another area within Dragonspine, the hyena had been instructed once again to deliver the supplies alone. Questions still not being something he figured he had been allowed to ask, the chimera simply accepted the instructions. Being instructed to deliver his second wave of emergency supplies to his fellow Fatui near a strange red grass area, the hyena would not falter. Perhaps, this time, having been to the area once before, his body would not break down.

Another astranomically incorrect assumption on his part.

With every step his currently human feet took towards the red grass area, his body grew colder. Fatui he had to deliver emergency supplies to being much farther away, he swore his body kept getting colder far quicker. Despite his body heat leaving at a rapid pace, delivering the supplies had to come into fruition. If he could transform his entire body into a hyena, problems with the cold would be of no issue, but transforming his entire body was not within the scope of his chimera abilities. Still shivering, the soldier continued to walk slowly.

Fatui with a large gold staff eventually being within two meters of him, the adolescent handed the supplies to him with due diligence. Supplies being delivered, he turned his heelless shoes to the direction he had arrived in. Still being required to meet with the Agent upon finishing his duties, the chimera readied the long winded walk back to the teleport waypoint area.

As he continued walking, the shivering only got stronger. Shivering being far sharper than earlier, his body temperature dropped faster than it had before. It was almost as if Dragonspine had a rule in place within the area that placed such restrictions upon everyone who stepped foot into the area.

Feeling of his chest freezing overtaking him a second time, his body sunk onto a patch of red glass below him. Blackness overtook him as his body temperature continued to drop rapidly. Consciousness slipping away, a similar thought from the day before graced his thoughts.

If Her Majesty knew of this, she would still be disappointed.

***

When Siorc had come to, a sea of red grass engulfed him. Hearing a loud heartbeat in the distance, a chill had run down his partially human spine. Realization had hit the chimera within seconds of regaining consciousness. He had been in an area completely unknown to him. Not knowing how long he had been out, the hyena sat up. An immediate horror twisted as he looked down at his legs. Both his human legs and human arms had been transformed into hyena paws and legs. Always being told by his family to keep these traits hidden, uneasiness hugged him tighter. Seeing a person beside him, the feeling continued to grip him harder.

Barely having any energy remaining, the hyena studied the person next to him. The person had short, but messy brown hair that went down to the shoulders. The back of the hair had been placed upward into a ponytail. The person to him looked male, but looking such did not mean the person matched with such identity. Hair registering, the chimera weakly examined the person further. The possible man had aquamarine eyes that looked almost inhuman. Situated upon the person's neck had been a star shape. Did the star shape hold significant meaning? The young soldier did not know, but he knew it was not in his place to ask. The possible man wore a white hoodie, with a dark blue outfit underneath it. Gloves and pants being a matching black color, the adolescent ended the examination.

He could not help but get an odd feeling about the possible man in front of him. The two of them were similar. Almost too similar, in a way. Such phenomenon was a short lived one. The possible man had begun to speak to him.

"Are you alright?" the possible brunette man said. The voice was mildly masculine, but emotionless. "Dragonspine is quite harsh." Lifting the chimera to his feet. The brunette studied the person curiously.

Seeing the hyena paws and tail on the person he had lifted up, the brunette had come to immediate surmisable conclusion. The purple haired individual in front of him had been an Ingne bloodline chimera. His master relenting to him about the alchemy that had made him was used on other living beings, caution radiated throughout him. Seeing Fatui symbols upon his clothing, danger was everywhere, and imminent.

"You are a Fatui, yes?" the brunette asked. "Best you return to your subordinates." There was no emotion present within the person's voice.

Hearing the emotionless attitude within the brunette man's voice, another shiver had run down his partially human spine. Were the symbols on his uniform that obvious? Realizing the man had been right, the chimera closed his eyes quickly. Not wishing for his hyena appendages to be seen, he kept his eyes shut for a moment. Hyena limbs eventually returning to human ones, he turned to the brunette man before exiting. Such a sight to behold must have been a disgusting one to be had, for sure.

"I'm sorry, sir," he replied weakly. Voice barely audible. "I will take my leave now."

As he exited the strange red grassed area, the brunette man had called out to him again. The person still had more to say to him? Turning his head to the person one final time as he exited, the chimera blinked twice as his words resounded to him.

"Heed with caution," the brunette warned. Not a single amount of emotion was present within his voice.

Simply nodding his head, the hyena exited the odd red grassed area. Not wanting to be within this strange cave for a moment longer, the newly appointed soldier's legs erupted into a sprint. Whatever that area was within the still unknown to him area within Teyvat, his sprint continued relentlessly.

Chimera eventually having been gone, the brunette pondered amongst himself silently. He recalled his master telling him awhile ago, the Ingne family hyena chimeras would have a son with a shark brain in the current era. The young man he had spoken to, a hypothesis had hatched within his synthetic human brain.

The young man he just met was the one with the shark brain.

Person seeming relatively human, the brunette hypothesized. If such part of the brain were to be turned on, disaster would befall.

Disaster greater than the destruction of Mondstadt would happen, for sure.

***

Five days had passed since the most recent incident of collapsing within Dragonspine had occurred. Nothing of difference had happened within Siorc's currently forced upon life. Delivery of supplies still raging onward, it had become abundantly clear to the adolescent soldier. The delivery of supplies was going to become a routine.

When he had woken up that morning, a surprise had awaited him when readying to do his new morning routine. Where his rations would be was his box of hairpins and earrings from his former hometown. Seeing the box in front of him as he dressed in his uniform for the day, the hyena tilted his head slightly.

His hairpins and earrings, how did they get there? Not knowing who could have possibly brought them back to him, a small sense of ease flooded back within him. He supposed, for the moment in time, it did not matter how his box of necessities were delivered to him.

Accessories and jewelry now being within his possession, Siorc clicked the hairpins and earrings in place like he had always done. Familiar feelings of his favorite accessories being on his partial person, another wave of ease pulsed through him. Even though it had only been one thing from his life before that had returned to him, he knew he had to cherish it. Remembering desires were not allowed to him as a Diplomatic Fatui Soldier, he knew, at any moment, such luxury would be taken away.

Despite such thought reigning supreme inside him, perhaps now, just maybe, incidents of collapsing into the cold snow of Dragonspine would no longer occur. Hairpins empowering him, a very small smile formed upon the young budding soldier's thin lips.

Waiting for the Agent's militaristic footsteps to arrive, a few thoughts ruminated inside the hyena's mind. Ease quickly vanishing as the footsteps raged onward, defeat repossessed itself deep within him.

Despite something familiar being returned to him, he knew this was his life for the foreseeable future. The Fatui life before him was not going to cease.

Diplomatic Soldier Siorc was on duty, forevermore.

Palamon

Has sent out Pikachu!

Age 25
he/him
Snezhnaya, Teyvat.
Seen 7 Hours Ago
Posted 1 Day Ago
7,320 posts
13.5 Years
6. Factors Solidifying, and The First Training Session

"Now that I have been here about a month,
Almost everything has become
Truly, and
Utterly clear, lately
Reality has sunk in deeply,
Every day is another day here in this sunless cold breeze."


About three and a half weeks had passed since the adolescent chimera's hairpins and earrings had been mysteriously returned to him. An entire month having gone by since the soldier's forced removal from his home, the hyena unwillingly had come to accept the reality presented before him. Militaristic duties never ending, accepting such reality was the only option at the young man's constantly transforming hands.

Every passing day since accessories and jewelry had been returned, delivering emergency supplies had become a normalcy for the chimera. Deliveries slowly becoming a routine, snow and ice was a permanent sight to behold for the newly appointed soldier. Sun in the sky being absent in the hyena's life for thirty days, daytime light had exited the building.

Supply delivery now a daily endeavor, knowledge of the area had come flooding into the chimera's partially human brain. Learning sources of heat had been littered throughout the lesser permafrost area, collapsing from the cold had become less frequent as the twenty-five days had raged onward with a diplomatic roar. Such facts being known to the hyena had not been the only knowledge that he had come privy to.

Travelling through the area as many times as he had, a small, but useless fact had made itself known to the rookie Fatui. Dragonspine had not been an area of Snezhnaya, but an area bordering the nation of Liyue. Not knowing much about the other nations of Teyvat, such information was utterly useless knowledge to be had, for sure. Everything slowly, but surely, solidified within Siorc's forced upon Diplomatic Fatui soldier life.

Getting used to his Diplomatic Soldier life was only the beginning. A sinister reality awaited the chimera.

Hundreds of Fatui summoned to the palace one evening, a scene of utter horror awaited the soldier. Instructed to remain on the bottom floor of Her Majesty's palace, a terrifying scene played out in front of the hyena's human eyes. Soldier dishonoring Her Majesty by skipping duties, a gruesome scene had been presented to the myriad of people inside the palace of ice blue walls.

Hearing Her Majesty claim the soldier had shirked duties to work on a flower garden in a nation the hyena had never heard of, the scene of horror came into play. Sword in the Cryo Archon's hands, multiple slashes had been administered to the disobedient Fatui's stomach. Being told to be in the front as the punishment had been dealt, the scene had immediately burned into the young budding soldier's partially human brain. Red decorating the blue floor as deeper slashes had been bestowed, the generic soldier had been no more. Corpse adjacent to him, a sinister, but necessary thought had ruminated within the chambers of the chimera's partially human brain.

Witnessing such punishment, one thought, and one thought only returned within him. Disappointing Her Majesty would end his life. Diligence was key to successful living as a Fatui soldier. Questions were forbidden, complaints were not allowed to be voiced; desires should never be enacted upon. Everything other than work had to die inside him, quickly. Wondering if the hairpin and earrings upon his partially human person were considered a desire, fear continued to overgrow in the pot inside him.

Luck, and the Archons were on his side, however. Being told by Her Majesty he could continue to wear the accessories, a sense of relief flowed throughout the chimera's partially human body. Not having his only remaining possessions from his previous life confiscated, Siorc would no longer falter. Finally being able to do everything to the best of his ability, the chimera's forced upon life cemented into permanence.

Today would introduce a new routine for the young budding soldier.

Upon waking up from his especially deep slumber, the sound of bitter wind awaited the hyena. The howling of the chill of the northern land roared like a teal dragon that soared through the skies of Mondstadt. Hundreds of groans resounded throughout the military barracks as the chilling wind slammed every barricaded window with a harsh jab. A month of nonstop snow was about to arrive in Snezhnaya. Although, such fact was unknown to the rookie Fatui.

Groans and wind continuing, Siorc rose from the uncomfortable bed. Despite such groans never ending, such cacophony was not something he could ever get used to. Knowing the Agent could arrive at any moment to relay his orders to him, the hyena had begun the morning routine of dressing the body. Rations being devoured, the recently appointed soldier was ready.

As his uniform melted onto his partially human person, a scream broke from the esophagus. The punishment he had witnessed the other day had flashed through his mind. Scene continuing to play out within the chambers of his brain, the soldier's currently human legs shook relentlessly. He knew, if he were to disappoint Her Majesty, such punishment could befall him at any time. Militaristic duties never changing, any incorrect step in his delivery duty could make him meet his end.

Knowing nothing could be done, the hyena allowed a sigh to release the throat. Agent likely to arrive at any moment, the young man clicked his hairpins and earrings into place. Adorning matching dark blue stars in his hair, and on his ears, a calming effect pulsed throughout his body. Shaking ceasing, the chimera put on the most diligent face possible. Time was not a luxury within the military barracks.

Hearing the clacking of the Fatui Agent boots increase in volume as he finished his morning routine, the chimera stared at the walls lifelessly. The booming footsteps had been something the hyena had become used to the easiest. Footsteps roaring onward, the young budding soldier was ready. Ready for another day of delivering emergency supplies in Dragonspine. Volume of footsteps eventually reaching zero, the work mode switch flipped on inside the adolescent's brain. The time had come for his militaristic day to begin.

"Diplomatic Soldier Siorc," the Fatui Agent said on cue. "You have been assigned training today." The masked agent gave unseen eye contact to his commander in arms. A new day, a new development.

Siorc jumped three steps back upon hearing the word training. Scratching his left ear, he wondered if he had heard the words correctly. Word slightly bouncing off his ears, he stared at the Agent in silence. Words eventually reaching him, his purple pupils continued to gaze at the faceless mask before him.

The word training echoed within the chambers of his mind. The adolescent's silent stare continued. Training? What could he possibly need training for? An absolutely odd addition to his routine to be had, for sure. He knew, however, questions were not allowed to him as a Fatui soldier. Gulp releasing from his throat, the hyena continued looking at the agent with no life in his eyes.

"Diplomatic Soldier Siorc!" the Fatui Agent called out again. His subordinate was unresponsive, as usual. What could possibly be on his mind besides work? The Agent could never fathom what could possibly be on the young man's mind. "Did you hear me? You have training today! Get a move on!" There was an aggravated tone in his voice. Time was not a virtue for Her Majesty.

Hearing the word training again, the chimera flinched. Removing the Teleport Waypoint Proxy Map from his uniform pocket, he readied to highlight the waypoint wherever the Agent were to tell him to. Opening the orb into map form, he again looked at his subordinate in arms.

Seeing the map out in front of his subordinate's hands, the Agent placed his hands on the sides of his hood. Just what was his future combatant in arms doing? Such device would not be needed today. He knew he had to relay such fact to the soldier in front of him.

"Put the Teleport Waypoint Proxy Map away this instant!" the Fatui Agent shouted, voice increasingly irritable. "The training grounds are close by. We will be walking there." He pointed his gloved hand at the map ferociously. "Put it away quickly. Do not waste any more time!" His voice was booming.

Hearing the anger in his voice, the chimera returned the map proxy back into an orb form in an instant. Snezhnayan tool away, a tiny gulp resounded through the walls of the room.

"Yes, sir," he replied autonomously. "I am sorry." Apology being given, he knew he had to ready himself for training. Holding his arm out, the chimera awaited the agent to grip his currently human arm like he had always done on a daily basis.

"Good, then let's get going, Soldier," the Agent responded. Seeing the soldier hold his arm out, the Agent grabbed the limb tightly. The grip was as tight as a lid on a jar that could not be pried open, the escort to the training grounds began.

Gripping prison being inescapable as always, one quick horrified thought entered the young man's mind. Could training mean a war could be coming? Remembering the word soldier had been in his title, he closed his eyes as the escort continued.

Diplomatic Soldier Siorc, indeed.

***

"I've always wished to be a Knight, it was
Never meant to be, unfortunately
Knight exam resulted in a failure,
Likely a margin of error if you ask me,
Instead of becoming a knight, I reluctantly decided to join the Fatui
Now, I'm here training endlessly
Getting ready to fight on the front lines. Bow and arrows ready."


Having arrived at the training grounds, Siorc examined the area in front of him diligently. The area had been littered with banners everywhere. Banners being littered with Fatui Insignias, the chimera looked below him. The grounds had been barren of any grass. Not a single sign of plant life had been present within the area. A shame to be had, for sure. Turning his head to the left, his examination continued. Off in the distance had been a small building with weapons hanging up upon a wall and stand. Weapon room solidifying in his memory, he turned his head to the right to finish his examination. In the top right corner had been a small dome. Standing on top of it had been a short man with blue violet bobbed hair, and a hat practically as large as the person wearing it. His black outfit was full of odd symbols he had never seen before. As his examination of the area ended, another gulp released itself from his partially human throat. The man standing upon the dome, there was something sinister about him. Man smirking, a second gulp echoed throughout the training grounds.

Being told by the Agent to look for a blond man with a high ponytail, the young man sauntered onward. Eventually coming across the man in question, his legs erupted into a sprint. Seeing the person in front of him, he glanced at the person one meter away from him.

The man adjacent to him had an incredibly generic appearance to him. Blond ponytail being high up, such appearance had been a common one within the military barracks. On his face had been a grey triangular mask covering the entire face. Uniform being black with a fur collar like almost every other generic Fatui Soldier, the chimera cared not to let the appearance register within the chambers of his partially human brain. Waiting for the man to notice him arriving, he tapped his heelless shoes upon the grassless ground.

Hearing the sound of a foot beating on the ground like a drum, the soldier of generic stature turned to the left. Seeing a young man without a mask and purple hair in front of him, a small invisible smile graced his face behind his mask. Being told he would be getting a new training partner after his last one had been promoted to Delusion training, feelings of uncharacteristic kindness flooded within him. Knowing he had to break the never melting ice, the soldier readied to introduce himself.

"You must be the new recruit that came in recently," the generic man said. He placed his hand on his new combatant in arm's shoulder. "My name is Egor, and I will be training your defenses." His voice was in a matter of fact tone. Introduction ended, he removed his hand from his new subordinate's shoulder. "Could you give me your name?" He placed his hands across his chest. A generic pose for a generic person within Snezhnaya, indeed.

Hearing his training partner ask for his name, Siorc could feel a chill go down his spine. Learning that Fatui were supposed to discard their names upon being recruited recently, sweat formed on his brow. Not being able to let go of the name his parent's gave him, he knew uttering his name would bring disappointment to Her Majesty. Knowing he also could not disobey any orders given to him, he supposed giving out his full name to his training partner was mandatory.

"Siorc Ingne, sir," he replied, voice barely audible. Already having forgotten the name uttered by his training partner, he turned his head to the right and left. Was this okay? Uttering his name like that? If Her Majesty knew of this, his life would be in danger, for sure. "Nice to meet you." He tacked on such for polite measure. Fatui rarely seeming like manners were a principle, he knew such was not necessary, but his parents always told him to be polite when meeting new people.

Subordinate introducing himself to him, the practice partner tilted his head. His name did not sound like a name from anywhere in Snezhnaya. Not having been born and raised in the area himself, he supposed an alias was an alias. Full name being given to him, he motioned his lips to speak again.

"I'll call you Ingne, then," the practice partner responded. His words sounded oddly kind, and gentle. "It's about time we get our weapons. I'll guide you to the weapon room." Placing himself in front of his subordinate, he readied the escort to the weapon area.

As the escort to the weapon area began, an odd feeling graced his partially human body. His training partner, something had felt oddly familiar about him. His attitude had a different feel to it than the other Fatui within the military barracks he had to forcefully reside in. The practice partner was kind, and polite, like a Knight of Favonius stationed outside the capital city of Mondtadt. Was this man also forcefully removed from the Anemo Nation of Freedom? Such question would not leave his lips.

Weapon area and his eyes meeting, the chimera stepped into the room with due diligence. Jerking his head to the left, a rack with swords and claymores on it greeted him within his purple eyed field of vision. Mondstadt instinct taking over, the young man took a claymore off the rack as if it were his sworn duty.

Claymore in hand, he looked at it in complete silence. The large sword was black, with a brown hilt to it. Weapon not being elaborate or fancy, the chimera had come to one ultimate conclusion, and one conclusion only. The weapon he had taken was a beginner's weapon. Not knowing how to wield a weapon properly yet, such would have to do, for now, the hyena supposed.

Greatsword in hand, the chimera watched quietly as his practice partner grabbed his weapon. He could feel his heart leap slightly at the sight before him. On the training partner's back had been a bow and arrow basket. Seeing such weapon set on him, feelings of unease blossomed further inside him. Just what kind of defensive training was he about to get? Reminding himself questions were not allowed to him, the inquiry remained dormant like the shark grooves in his brain.

Bow and arrow basket secured, the training partner turned to his combatant in arms. Seeing the claymore in his hands, it had come to the man of generic stature immediately. The young man in front of him was from Mondstadt. Being from there originally himself, a sense of kindness kindled inside his militaristic brain. Perhaps, just maybe, the two would get along well.

"A Claymore," the training partner said diligently. "An interesting choice, Ingne." Remembering the higher up's orders could resound at any moment, he placed himself in front of the soldier again. "We should head out onto the field now, the Sixth Harbinger will likely announce himself in a moment." Such phrase being uttered, he guided his subordinate to the training field with post-haste.

New area registering into his memory, the young soldier again turned to the practice partner. Such look was interrupted by a loud demeaning voice. The voice's maliciousness sounded off in the training ground, Siorc turned his attention to the dome he had seen earlier.

"If you all at least have the intelligence to be holding weapons, then start training!" the bowl cut hat man said with a malicious tone of voice. "Get to work, you ignoramuses!" Berating those under him was his favorite hobby.

Sixth Harbinger's orders resounding, the training partner looked into his combatant in arms eyes. Both weapons being in hand, he readied his explanation of what type of defensive training he was about to teach him. Hoping such defensive training would not be too much for a rookie, the man of generic stature readied the blow.

"That was the Sixth Harbinger," spoke the practice partner calmly. His tone was soft. "He has instructed me to strengthen your evasion and defenses." He placed his hand on his bow and arrow basket as his explanation continued. "I will be firing arrows at you, and you will have to deflect them with your Claymore." An unseen stern looked formed underneath his mask. "Are you ready?"

The chimera's eyes grew wide at such explanation laid out before him. Dodging incoming arrows? He had never heard of such training method before. Such an unconventional training method to be had, for sure. But, once his orders were given to him, the adolescent had to enact upon them. The choice was no longer his, the hourglasses' sand would soon reach the bottom.

"I am ready, sir," he replied flavorlessly. His words were emotionless, and robotic. He held his claymore in his right hand. Weapon shaking, a gulp released itself from the esophagus.

Hearing his partner's confirmation, the practice partner fastened his bow with zeal. Releasing the arrow with his left hand, it had begun travelling within close proximity of the chimera target before him. This being the young soldier's first time, he did not expect immediate dodges from him to occur. All rookies had to start somewhere.

As the arrow had soared at lightning speed, immediate panic feasted inside him. Having no defenses whatsoever, and no weapon knowledge, the chimera's mind blanked immediately. Arrow inching closer, the hyena's currently human legs shook with vigor. As the travelling of the arrow had ended, he could feel the metal tip of the arrow pierce him on his uniform. Arrow entwined onto the fabric covering his small hips, a labored scream echoed throughout the area. He could feel it, the metal tip biting him. Uniform being the only layer protecting him, no blood had flowed.

Combatant in arms scream vibrating through the area, the training partner lowered his bow in an instant. Seeing the arrow poking his hip, the subordinate lowered himself onto his knees. "Are you alright, Ingne?" he asked as he lowered himself to the cold ground. "It's okay if you don't get it on the first try." He plucked the arrow stuck to him like a feather off of a bird. "We'll try again. Be sure to swing your claymore." He again placed his bow into his hands.

Given a second chance, Siorc gripped the claymore in his hands tighter. This time, for sure, he would be able to deflect the arrows coming at him. Resolve in mind, no words were said. Nodding to his practice partner, he waited for the arrows to come his way.

Taking the nod as confirmation, the soldier fastened the bow a second time. Releasing the arrow, it soared through the air with grace. His partner still being new, his expectations remained unchanging. If such dodges were unable to occur this attempt, one final try would be administered today. With such thought in mind, the man placed the bow beside him as the arrow continued its travel through the air.

Second arrow blazing onward, the chimera's arms froze in place. Mind still blank on how to deflect the arrow, his currently human arms remained stationary. Arrow inching closer, his body shook relentlessly. As the arrow's second coming travel ended, he could feel the metal tip pierce the pants covering his legs. Weapon rooted into his leg, another scream echoed through the area.

Tears streamed down his face as the metal tip sat upon his leg. Her Majesty, if she had seen such horrific scene, she would be disappointed in him. Punishment scene flashing through his brain again, he knew if he had slipped up one more time with his dodges, his life would be over for sure. Disappointment was punishable by death.

No dodge having occurred, as expected, the practice partner let out a sigh. Removing the arrow stuck onto his pants, he turned his attention to the writhing young man adjacent to him. Perhaps teaching him how to swing the claymore would help him dodge better? The training partner supposed it was worth a shot. Walking to his backside, the man readied to teach his subordinate how to swing the greatsword with ease.

"Hold the sword to your chest, Ingne," he said softly. He took the sword beside him and placed it into a fighting position. "When the arrows come your way, you swing it to deflect them." He placed his gloved hands around the chimera's motioning the claymore into a swing. "Like that. We're going to try this one more time. If you can't do it this time, we'll try next time, okay?" His words continued to radiate a gentle tone as they were said.

Being taught how to use the claymore, confidence leaked throughout the hyena's pores. The practice partner's words glowed like the absent sun in the sky. Finally grasping what had to be done, the adolescent soldier nodded one final time. This time, he would do it, he would deflect the arrows coming towards him. Feeling of anxiety dying in the snow outside the area, his emotionless eyes twinkled momentarily.

Seeing him nod, the practice partner fastened his bow one final time. Releasing the last arrow, it travelled at the speed of an adventurer sprinting within a misty domain. Hoping his quick teachings would be sufficient enough for a singular dodge, hope flowed throughout every generic bone in his body.

Final arrow bolting forward, the hyena lifted his claymore beside him to his chest. Arrow inching closer, the chimera jumped five steps back with weapon in hand. Swinging the two handed sword forward, the arrow and the claymore met graciously. Arrow speeding into the opposite direction, it darted to the ground with beauty.

Arrow being deflected, the hyena lowered the claymore. Energy beginning to leave him as everything ended, he sunk down to his knees. Feeling his energy continue to drain as the seconds raged on inexorably, he placed the weapon onto the ground for a moment.

Noticing how tired his partner had become, he knew it was time to end training for the day. Dodging one arrow would have to do, for now. Lifting his combatant in arms to his feet, praise was to be in order for the quiet young man before him. Being told the other day this person would be his permanent training partner for the foreseeable future, more training sessions would occur in the future, for certain.

"You did good, today, Ingne," the training partner replied. Kindness persisted in his words throughout. "I'll see you next time." He grabbed the claymore placed onto the ground and placed it within the bow and arrow basket. "I'm going to put the weapons back now, get some rest." Decision being made, the generic soldier exited the area.

Dismissal being granted, Siorc sauntered back to his forced upon home within the military barracks. Room eventually being within his field of vision, energy continued to drain with every step he took. Hard bed drawing closer with every step, he removed the star shaped hairpins and earrings from his partially human person.

Accessories and jewelry being removed, he slumped onto the uncomfortable bed. Tiredness continuing to eat away at him, one final thought echoed in the chambers of his mind as the world of sleep were about to take him for the evening.

Training methods in Snezhnaya were unconventional, indeed.

Palamon

Has sent out Pikachu!

Age 25
he/him
Snezhnaya, Teyvat.
Seen 7 Hours Ago
Posted 1 Day Ago
7,320 posts
13.5 Years
7. Dottore's Little Lab Rat

TW: VIOLENCE

"Been here about three months now, in this cold breeze,
And from time to time,
Recurring thoughts about my family,
Break through me.
Allowing myself to give into the
Thoughts, I think about them silently.
Ordinarily, thoughts other than work are
Strictly forbidden, but the thought lives inside me."

Really wonder how Hase is doing,
As well as mother, father, and
The elderly neighbor an
Acre away from me.
They know I am missing, surely.
Obviously, I doubt they will be able to find me.
Under no circumstance,
Is rescue possibly allowed. It is
Likely if anyone finds me, their
Life will be taken away.
Evidentially, I know this, so I continue working, obeying; breathing. Diligence is key."


Two months had passed since the adolescent chimera had training added to his mundane routine. Three months having gone by since the soldier's forceful removal from his homeland, certain dormant thoughts had begun to roar inside his partially human brain. The certain thoughts ruminating within were forbidden, but would not leave him, even for a moment.

Forbidden thoughts playing into motion inside the hyena, the adolescent had come to wonder: his family, how had they been doing? It having been ninety days since his family had seen him, multiple thoughts buzzed through the chimera's mind. His parents, could they have gone looking for him? Not having seen anyone that had looked like his parents during various trips through Dragonspine, the soldier had known such to not be the case. Such wonder continuously boiled inside him. Although, such thoughts about his family were not the only ones looping on end within the chambers of his mind.

Thoughts regarding his family's safety tapping the young budding soldier's constantly transforming shoulder, one final thought on the matter graced him quietly. Wishing to see his family one final time, three balls juggled inside the human parts of the brain. Her Majesty, if he requested a day off from her, would she allow it? But, he knew such requests could never leave his lips. Desires were not allowed for him as a Diplomatic Fatui Soldier.

Supply delivery continuing to be a prominent nearly every day endeavor, the chimera would not falter. Routine bubbling into overdrive endlessly, the chimera had become privy to the other factions within the Fatui. Multiple soldiers wearing the same uniform within their designated station, something of immediate oddity had alerted the young man. His uniform had not been like any other Fatui within the lesser permafrost north, or within his own jurisdiction. Why had his uniform been different from the other soldiers? The soldier did now know, but he knew questions were not something he was allowed within his militaristic life.

Throughout the sixty days of sameness, the new routine of training had been sprinkled throughout. Evasion still needing quite a lot of work, dodging arrows every time had still not occurred for the hyena. Arrows coming at him fast, deflecting the weapons was a work in progress like a certain region in an alternate version of Teyvat. Defensive training becoming a weekly regime, the chimera had slowly, but surely, adjusted to the unconventional training regimen presented before him. Getting slightly more used to training was only the beginning for the adolescent soldier.

After the first day of training had been behind him, a blizzard had broke out in the permafrost north. Snow raging about for thirty days without end, a horrifying realization had graced Siorc's mind. Snezhnaya was a harsh, relentless nation of permanent snow, and ice. If one did not keep moving, freezing to death would certainly come into fruition. Time was a not a virtue in the frozen northern land. Regardless of such harsh conditions, the adolescent would not falter. Blizzard dissipating after thirty days, the hyena silently continued to work diligently. Silence, and diligence were key to successful living as a Fatui Soldier. Duties continuing to be the way they always had been, mundaneness had roared into overdrive.

Today, however, would be a day of utter horror for the adolescent chimera.

When the young soldier had awoken, an immediate chill had run down his partially human spine. White coat in his tired reduced field of vision, a gulp released from the chambers of his throat. Feeling inertia, the white coat melted in front of him. A quick realization had sunk in within the dormant shark grooves in the chimera's brain. He was being taken somewhere completely unknown to him. Barely being awake, nothing about the situation at hand had registered to the hyena.

Such reduced thoughts were quickly brought to a grinding halt. Feeling a hard chop blown upon the back of his head, tiredness accelerated inside him at a rapid pace. Head tilting forward onto the white, blackness overtook the chimera. Eyes being shut, the world of sleep awaited the adolescent soldier again.

As the little experiment's head hit the back, a sinister smile broke on the perpetrator's partially visible mouth. Finally being allowed to do as they pleased with Her Majesty's newest toy, albeit with some exceptions, collecting the little lab rat from his room was a no brainer for the white coated individual. Base of operation drawing closer with every step, the smirk grew wider upon the perpetrator's face.

White door in front of them, the perpetrator lifted their leg sinisterly. Door creaking open with a violent jab, the perpetrator bolted into their base of operation at lightning speed. Den of experiments being in front of them, the perpetrator turned to the left. Lifting their leg again, another door creaked open with a secondary savage rumble. Medical bed table adjacent to them, the white coated individual plucked the vegetable's hands from around them. Arms plucked, the perpetrator tossed the lab rat onto the cold medical bed like a rag doll on the floor. Little experiment being plastered on top of the blanketless mat, another smirk grew on the perpetrator's partially visible face.

When the little lab rat were to awaken, it would finally be time. Three months of waiting had been far too much time to wait. But now, the time had come, permission had been granted. Glaring at the lifeless purple vegetable, the perpetrator placed their hand upon their mask. Laugh breaking from their throat, experiments flooded into the white coated individual's brain.

Soon, they would get to see it. The shark center of the lab rat's brain.

***

"Chop dealt from behind me, I had no time to scream,
How has what just happened to me real,
Is any of this a dream?
Maybe, just hopefully, surely, I was asleep.
Even so in those few seconds, I could not help but feel
Relative amounts of unease.
All that is about to await me is nothing good, surely."


When Siorc had awoken again, another chill had run down his partially human spine. The chimera had, yet again, been taken to a place completely unknown to him. Not being within the military barracks, the vines of fear wrapped themselves tighter around his adolescent body. Having already been removed from his hometown, the shock of the event wore off quickly. He knew he had no choice but to accept the fate before him. The choice was no longer his.

Knowing nothing could be done about his second removal, the hyena studied the room he had been forcefully placed in. In front of him had been a cold, hard white bed even less comfortable than the one in the military barracks. Blanket being nowhere to be seen, the concrete smacked his back hit with a cold hard punch. Lifting his head from the brick, the hyena continued his examination. The room had been empty, absolutely nothing else had been within it. Nothingness of white filling the room, the young budding soldier turned his head to the left. There had been an opening to the side of the room. Placing his currently human hand on the doorknob, the door creaked open.

Door shutting behind him, the soldier turned his head to the right and left. As the large room burned into his purple eyed field of vision, buckets of sweat poured down his back. The room he had been in was grey, and robotic. Within every corner of the room had been technology he had never seen before. Having grown up in Mondstadt away from such advancements, sweat continued to pour down the hyena's back with each glance he took. Unknown technology cementing within the chambers of his brain, the young man continued looking at the spacious room in front of him. A distance away from him had been a large brown chair. The chair looked hard, and menacing. As his examination continued, a gulp resonated throughout the area.

The air in the room had a noxious feel to it. The atmosphere was heavy, foreboding, and toxic. Toxicity tapping his shoulder, another gulp had broke from the chambers of his throat. Malevolent fumes of it all swallowing him whole, Siorc again turned his head to the left. In the corner had been a woman of generic stature. White coat on her body, everything had clicked within him. The place he had been carried off to had been a lab. Having read about science in books as a child, such knowledge had been something the hyena had been privy to. Such knowledge having been known did not bring ease to the adolescent. As he turned his head to the right, another seed of fear planted itself within his partially human brain.

To the right of him had been a clown of a man. The man had messy, but short and curly cadet blue hair. His outfit was an oddity to be had, for sure. The man's outfit was complicated, and layered. Towards the man's torso had been a blue vest with a white buttoned blouse. Bow tie poking through a pure white collar, the chimera turned his attention to the outer layer. Surrounding the vest had been a pure white opened coat laced with metallic instruments. Wrists having such metal as well, a tertiary gulp released itself from the esophagus. Silver pants matching the garnets, the hyena looked up at the man's face. Upon the man's face had been an oddly shaped white and black mask. The mask had been shaped like a boomerang. Or, so the hyena assumed, the young man had never seen such an instrument in person before. To the side of the mask had been an extremely large earring with a blue liquid inside it. Could the earring have been a weapon? Could weaponizing earrings even be possible? The chimera did not know, but, perhaps, just maybe, such knowledge would be taught to him in the future. Red eyes and part of the mouth being visible, more sweat poured down his back as his examination of the person ended.

The man in front of him had been a doctor. Being told recently by his practice partner the Fatui had Eleven Harbingers, immediate fear had rooted itself into the new seed inside him. Man's uniform not being like any Fatui he had ever seen within Dragonspine or the military barracks, it had come to him almost immediately. The man in front of him was one of Her Majesty's most powerful soldiers. The highest ranked members within the Fatui Army; his superior. Training partner telling him all of the Harbinger's names, the name Il Dottore echoed the loudest in his memory.

Fact solidifying inside him, dread nibbled on the cartilage on his ear. The doctor, if he had taken him here, he knew nothing good had certainly awaited him. The odd technology in the room, and the noxious atmosphere. Something awaited him, something sinister. He knew, whatever were to await him, refusal was not an option. Any orders that were about to be given to him, he knew he had to follow them with due diligence. Waiting for the doctor to speak, the hyena closed his eyes for a moment.

Seeing his little experiment poke his head through his lab, a large grin beamed on his face from ear to ear. Excellent, the lab rat had already been awake. Inhumane experiments pouring into his brain, he walked over to the chair. Large brown chair being adjacent to him, he tapped it with a violent vigor. Soon, the experiments could begin. Tapping the chair louder as the seconds passed onward, the Harbinger motioned his lips to speak.

"You're mine today," the doctor said. His tone was high pitched, maliciousness present throughout. "Get ready for surgery!" Order being given, he placed his gloved hand onto his mask. Soon, he would be able to see it, the shark brain Her Majesty had told him about. Such thoughts flooding into him, a small cackle broke from the chambers of his throat. "Come quickly, time is ticking!" He continued to tap the brown chair like a child banging pots and pans.

Orders being given, Siorc walked forward towards the chair the doctor had been tapping with fervor. Noxious atmosphere swallowing him whole, every step decreased in decibel as the chair inched closer. Volume of his footsteps being practically zero, the soldier sauntered onward. Seat coming closer, he could feel the toxic atmosphere tap him on the back of his shoulder. Chair finally being in front of him, the seat and the hyena's rear met.

Promptly after being seated, the doctor stepped away for a fraction of a second. Upon his return, a small red and white pill had lived in his hand. Pill being placed in front of him, the instructions had been clear to him. The doctor was asking him to swallow it. Realizing such, a small scream broke from his partially human throat. Just what was the doctor about to do to him? Dread continued to devour him as the pill stayed in front of him unmoving.

Lab rat not taking the pill in front of him, a grimace graced the doctor's face. Did his little experiment think he could get out of swallowing the pill he was giving him? What a stupid chimera. He would force the pill down his throat if it were not in his mouth in seven seconds.

"Quit dallying!" the Doctor cried, his tone was unhinged and high pitched. "You're on my time now!" He shook the pill in his hand with vigor. "Take the pill, or I'll do it for you." He pointed his other hand at his throat. "Get ready for surgery!" A cackle resounded in the area as his sentence ended. The little experiment had better hurry up, or violence would await him.

Order being given, the chimera knew refusal was not an option. Pill in the doctor's glove, the lab rat removed the capsule from the hand within seconds. Pill in hand, Siorc swallowed the pill immediately. As the pill travelled throughout the hyena's body, an unusual feeling pulsed through the adolescent. Something in that pill wasn't right. The pill was bitter to the highest extremity. Taste wearing off, something of utter horror had befallen the soldier. His vision was fading to black. Everything in front was disappearing into nothing. Sight had not been the only thing disappearing. The sounds around him, they were dimming. He could not hear a thing, everything was silent, gone; removed. Other senses vanishing, everything was black, numb; silent. Five major senses being dull, a weak thought pulsed through his disappearing thoughts.

The doctor had given him a heavy dose of toxins.

Everything being black, he knew now more than ever. Escape was impossible. But, as such thoughts poked him, nothingness continued to swallow him. Soon, his mind would be gone, everything would be empty. As the seconds roared onward, the soldier could feel his consciousness get weaker as every second turned into minutes.

A sinister smile had grew on the Doctor's face as the eyes from the test subject dimmed from the dose of toxins. Cracking his knuckles, the Harbinger was ready to open the head up with ease. Soon, he would finally see it, the shark brain Her Majesty had made him privy to. As such thoughts flooded through him, the Doctor prepared for surgery. Scalpel in hand, the time had come to see once and for all if there really had been a shark brain inside his little experiment's head.

As the scalpel met the test subject's forehead ferociously, the Doctor sliced the skin of the head with a cruel ferocity. As the brain became visible, the slashes halted. Brain being in plain sight, the Harbinger looked down at it in a quizzical manner. Within the sea of pink had been a brown, lumpy center unlike anything he had ever seen before. The brown center, it looked almost similar to an organ that would go unnamed. Seeing such part of the brain, it had come to him in an instant. Coming to the realization, another cackle broke his half covered mouth.

The center of his brain was shark, indeed. Middle of that section of the brain having grooves, multiple inhumane experiments poured within the Doctor's brain at once. Her Majesty, she had to know of this discovery. Brain looking off within him, one experiment broke through the rest. If the shark brain in the center were to be turned on, the lab rat could become a powerful soldier. Tomorrow, for sure, he would begin his work to unlock the shark grooves within his test subject's brain.

"Most fascinating!" the Doctor chided. His words sounded unhinged, almost deranged in tone. "His brain really is partially a shark brain!" Knowing Her Majesty must be alerted of such discovery right away, staging his temporary exit was mandatory. "You, over there, sew him back up for me." He pointed his glove at the generic scientist in the corner with fervor. "Take him to the back room when you're done." His words were sharp, and unrelenting.

"Huh?" the generic woman scientist asked, puzzled. "M-me? Are you sure, sir?" Stitches were not her expertise.

An exasperated sigh released from the Doctor's throat. "Yes, you!" he replied, voice booming. "Get to it, or you can kiss your job goodbye!" His finger twitched violently as such words were uttered. This woman was quite the waste of time.

"A-Alright, sir," the woman responded, voice shaking. "Right away." As such sentence was finished, the Doctor had exited. Her boss being away, a gulp pulsated through the area.

Order being absolute, the generic scientist threaded the suture incorrectly. Never having used such a tool before, threading the instrument took fifteen tries. Thread eventually making it through, the signs of surgical activity became no more at the pace of a Ruin Guard's walking speed. As the invasive incision became no more for the time being, the nervous scientist removed the suture. Was the threading enough? She did not know, but it would have to do for now. Placing the unresponsive young man in her arms, the scientist placed him into the side room he had came in. Chimera placed onto the medical bed, she stared at the small wall in silence.

She would have to sew him up again later, surely.

***

Upon waking up the next day, feelings of dread formed a black hole inside the young budding soldier. He had been placed back into the room he had woken up in yesterday. Pit forming in his stomach, Siorc figured it was time to leave. The Agent, surely, he had to have been waiting for him within the military barracks. Desiring to exit right away, the chimera walked through the door of violence. All five senses being returned, the hyena had been ready to stage his exit.

Luck, and the Archons were not on his side. Waiting for him by the chair had been the Doctor again. Menacing smile being on his mostly covered face, sweat formed on the adolescent's brow. The smirk upon his face, he knew within seconds of seeing it. The Doctor was not going to let him leave. Another day of darkness and nothing and experimentation awaited him.

Seeing his lab rat enter into his den, a loud sinister cackle broke again from the chambers of his throat. The laugh sounded malicious, and mentally unsound. Her Majesty allowing him to poke around in his brain, many more inhumane experiments flooded in like a river. Being told he could cut open anything, but three exceptions, the Doctor cracked his neck three times. Today would be the first step in activating the shark grooves within his test subject's brain.

"Where do you think you're going?" The Doctor asked. His words were slithery. "Get over here, and get ready for surgery!" He tapped the back of the chair louder than an adventurer screaming as a barrel exploded in the open wilderness.

Orders being given, the chimera sprinted to the chair as quick as his currently human legs could carry him. Time was not a virtue for anyone in Snezhnaya. Rear and seat meeting, a pant broke loose from his partially human throat. Was his stamina level the default within the rules of the world? The hyena did not know, but he knew there was no time to think about such matters.

Promptly after being seated, the Doctor handed the little experiment a second pill of toxicity. Remembering his threat of forcing him to swallow it if he had not done so immediately upon being handed it, Siorc swallowed the pill on cue. As the poison pill travelled throughout the adolescent soldier's body for the second day in a row, everything had been removed. All five senses were gone within five seconds. As the heavy drug dealt its lethal potency took control of his body for the second time, everything had become black, silent; removed. Poison was the ultimate weapon of control.

The Doctor placed his hands on his mask as the eyes of his test subject dimmed again from the dose of toxins. Menacing laugh vibrating through the walls of the lab, he was ready to begin the act of turning on the dormant shark grooves in the brain. Stitches being fresh on the head, opening the area up again would be quite the easy feat for the Fatui Harbinger. Scalpel in hand, another smirk grew on his crooked face.

As the scalpel met the lab experiment's forehead, the stitches had come undone swiftly, but surely. Stitches being out of the way, the Doctor sliced through the head with a callous frenzy. As the brain became increasingly visible with every slice, the Doctor knew what was to come next. Perhaps, just maybe, beating the metal surgical incisor onto the shark brain would cause sparks to fly. Surely, tapping it repeatedly with tools would turn on the predator center in the brain. Resolute on such decision, the Doctor poked the brown shark lump hard like a child hitting their sibling out of anger. With every continued poke, the smile dissipated into a blank expression. First ten pokes, and nothing had been happening.

Not ready to give up, the Doctor tapped the scalpel onto the shark center harder. Surely, if more force were applied, the predator instinct would kick in and turn it on. Pokes getting harder with every attempt, the blank expression turned into a grimace. No reaction had been occurring. No sparks had been flying. Nothing was happening. Feeling the urge to bite his glove, the Harbinger readied the final attempts for the day to awaken the center of the brain.

Twirling the scalpel around upon his thumb for a moment, the Doctor returned to the experiment at hand. Perhaps, just maybe, a little more force would be needed to turn it on. Resolute on the decision, the Doctor bashed the scalpel onto the brown lump as hard as a rock. Pokes almost bashing the brain in, the grimace only grew wider. Removing the scalpel from his hand, the Harbinger bit his glove with ferocity.

Nothing, no reaction. None whatsoever. Not a single spark was cracking.

"How boring!" the Doctor shouted in a defeated tone. He bit the glove in his mouth harder. He knew experiments were never successful on the first try, however. "Well, no matter. I'll just try again in the future." Removing the glove from his mouth, he pointed his bare hand at the scientist again. "You, over there, sew him up again. Right this instant." His words were high pitched, and whiny in tone. Next time, for sure, the shark grooves would activate.

"A-again?" the scientist asked, words shaking. "Right away, sir."

Knowing her boss would yell at her if she did not enact upon orders in an instant, the scientist again threaded the suture incorrectly. Hands shaking, threading the instrument took fifteen tries like the day before. Thread eventually making it through, the signs of surgical activity became no more at a crawling pace. As the invasive incision indefinitely became no more for the time being, the scientist removed the suture. Her hands continued to shake as the ordeal came to a close. Placing the unresponsive young man back into her arms, the scientist placed him into the side room he had been in for the second and final time. Chimera placed onto the stone medical bed, her hands would not stop shaking.

Closing up heads was not in her contract.

***

Waking up the next day in the room he had been in two mornings prior, Siorc's body shook vigorously. The Doctor, was he going to do more experiments on him today? If such were to occur again, his life would end, surely. He knew, today for sure, he had to return to the military barracks. He had to get away. Get away from this den of malpractice. While Fatui work had not been much better, anywhere was better than here. Readying to stage his exit, the chimera walked through the door of villainy immediately.

As his currently human feet stepped into the lab, he jerked his head to the left and right. The Doctor was nowhere to be seen. Malicious man being gone, relief poured into his partially human body. Seeing him not within his presence, he knew now more than ever, it was time to leave. Teleport Waypoint Proxy not being on him at this point in time, the chimera turned to the generic scientist.

Not wishing to communicate to her with words, he placed his palm into an open position. All five fingers being present, he put the second hand on top of the first. Cruising his currently human palm in a slight zigzag position, he left his hands in such a state for twenty seconds. Would his wordless language get through to the scientist? He hoped for such to be the case.

The scientist tilted her head at such hand movements. What was the purple haired soldier trying to communicate to her? She knew she had to ask the young man.

"U-um, I'm sorry sir, could you write that down for me?" she asked, her words were still shaking. Pen and paper in hand, she handed it to the adolescent. "I apologize, I don't understand sign language." There was an apologetic tone in her voice.

Allowing a sigh to release from his throat, Siorc accepted the pen and paper quietly. Feathered quill pen in hand, the chimera stroked the words map onto the paper in Mondstadt language. Words being written, he turned the paper to the scientist. Would this work? He knew not all languages in Teyvat were the same.

Seeing the word map printed legibly on the paper, the woman rummaged through a drawer with a fervor. Small orb collapsed in the drawer, she returned with the Snezhnaya map device within a few minutes time. Was this what the young Fatui wanted? The generic woman hoped such was the case. Holding the orb out, her unoccupied hand continued to shake.

"Y-you wanted to look at a map, r-right?" the scientist asked, her words continued to shake with every phrase uttered. "I-I'll open it for you so you can look for where your barrack is on there." Decision being made, the woman turned the orb into map form.

Seeing the map laid out in front of him, the adolescent guided his hand to the Snezhnaya section of the map. Seeing a small blue triangle signifying his location, the young man highlighted the Waypoint to the military barracks for a moment. Realizing the area had been a walking pace away, he supposed walking back had been the better option. If he were to take the map with him, he knew that the Doctor would tell Her Majesty. Not wishing his life to be over via a thievery, the hyena prepared to stage his exit to return to the military barracks.

Mouthing a silent thank you to the scientist, he exited the laboratory. Deep thoughts had begun to ruminate inside him as the travel to the military barracks began. The Doctor, the Harbinger, something had not been right with him. The poison he had given him was inhumane. He remembered reading a book once about a bad doctor. Recalling the world malpractice had been written in it, the thought hatched an egg inside him.


As the military barracks inched closer, the thought continued to play on repeat within the dormant shark grooves in his brain. The doctor, was he well in the head? Just how many people had he experimented on in the past? Being the malpracticing malicious doctor's current victim, he wondered how long such experiments were going to last. The chimera knew one thing, and one thing for certain, if he were to die at the hands of the doctor, he would find a way to become a spirit. Dying in Snezhnaya? Absolutely ludicrous nonsense, the hyena did not wish for such outcome to ever arise.

Eventually reaching his forced upon room in the military barracks, he laid on the uncomfortable bed painstakingly. Agent never showing up for the day, he placed his head upon the hard pillow in front of him. World of sleep about to take him, the thought echoed in his head one more time.

The Fatui Harbinger Il Dottore was a mad malpracticing doctor, indeed.

Palamon

Has sent out Pikachu!

Age 25
he/him
Snezhnaya, Teyvat.
Seen 7 Hours Ago
Posted 1 Day Ago
7,320 posts
13.5 Years
8. Breaking Routines, Catching Fire in Natlan, and Loba

TW: NEEDLES, PHYSICAL TRAUMA


"Hate is a strong word, so I have mostly discarded it,
Opinions aren't allowed for me to begin with.
Never can I speak a single complaint in this nation that is freezing,
Every day, for a year I just keep on obeying, breathing, living.
Year round of this forced upon life, I have since accepted it."


About a year had passed since the young adolescent chimera had been forcefully removed from his homeland. The hyena had since become unwillingly used to his forced upon life as a Diplomatic Fatui Soldier. While the permafrost north's harshness had been a never ending battle, the young budding soldier would not falter. He knew he had to keep moving if he wished for his life to continue within the Cryo nation of Snezhnaya.

During the first year of the chimera's militaristic life, routines had raged onward with a diplomatic roar. Training had become a normalcy quickly, but assuredly for the young budding soldier. Knowing the world of Teyvat always had monsters and enemies rampaging around every corner of the open wilderness, being able to defend himself was an absolute necessity. Defenselessness was quite the disgusting beast.

Training having been solidified into permanence, the adolescent's other routines continued with the same frequency. Delivering supplies to Dragonspine had become another mundane commonality. The area having been eerily similar to the frozen northern land, traversing the area was never of any difficulty for the hyena. Mundaneness and repetition of it all, the chimera continued working as a soldier obediently.

Delivery of supplies solidifying into his partially human brain, the experimentation of his body would not cease existing, either. The doctor's malicious onslaught inside him was relentless, but the chimera knew voicing complaints was not something he was allowed as a Fatui Soldier. Everything cementing into permanence, Siorc had become unwillingly used to the life presented before him.

Such familiarity would die a dishonorable death today.

The sound of morning alarm bells blared throughout the area with a tremendously deafening roar. As the alarm bells resounded thunderously, the discordant groans of countless Fatui soldiers echoed dissonantly. The alarm bells had been uncalled for on schedule, as usual. The cacophonous groans of animosity boomed onward as time persisted its endless reign. No soldier within the barracks was ready for the day at hand. Regardless of such begrudging about, the hundreds of soldiers loyalty remained persistent.

Hearing the booming groans throughout the barracks was enough to awaken Siorc from his especially deep slumber. The grunts always being louder than any alarm bells, the chimera rose from the uncomfortable bed diligently. Having gotten used to almost everything within the permafrost north, the groans of hundreds was never something the young soldier could ever get used to. Knowing his orders of either supply delivery or training were upon him, the hyena had begun his morning routine of dressing the body.

As his uniform glued itself onto his partial person, a quiet sigh escaped his throat. Any moment now, the Fatui Agent would arrive to relay his orders to him. Another sunless day in the permanent winter awaited the soldier. Knowing nothing could prevent such routine from happening, the hyena clicked his earrings and hairpins in place routinely. The nonexistent clock no one had access to within the world of Teyvat was ticking. Time was not a luxury within the military barracks.

Hearing the clacking of the Fatui Agent's boots increase in volume as he finished his morning routine, the chimera cracked his currently human knuckles quickly. The hyena was ready. Ready for whichever of his two routines were to grace his silent presence. The doctor not having removed him from his room in the middle of the night, he knew training or Dragonspine awaited him.

Routines were about to be shot in the foot gracefully.

When the volume of the footsteps had been reduced to zero, a flip of the work mode switch turned on inside the hyena's partially human brain. Whichever routine were about to be said to him, the chimera was ready. Awaiting his orders, the young budding soldier waited quietly. The time had come for his militaristic day to begin.

"Diplomatic Soldier Siorc," the Fatui Agent said on cue. "We are going to Natlan today to obtain spring water." The Masked agent gave unseen eye contact to his commander in arms. The satchel on his back shook vigorously. A new day, a brand new assignment.

Siorc's heart skipped two beats upon hearing the name Natlan. The gun at his routine had been fired. Why had his routine suddenly changed out of nowhere like this? The chimera did not know, but the soldier knew questions were not something he was allowed within his current life as a Fatui soldier. A gulp releasing quietly from his throat, the hyena stared at the wall behind him relentlessly.

Natlan echoing within the chambers of his mind, the adolescent's quiet stare continued. Wasn't Natlan a nation of war? Knowledge of the nation was a limited resource for the young soldier. Never having learned about the other nations in full detail in his stolen childhood, uneasiness had begun to take residence inside him. Sudden changes were a violent beast of burden.

"Diplomatic Soldier Siorc!" the Fatui Agent called out again. "Turn around this instant! Are you with me? We're going to Natlan today to collect spring water! Get a move on!" There was an aggravated tone in his voice. What could his subordinate possibly be thinking about? He could never grasp what was on his mind.

Hearing the word Natlan again, the chimera flinched. Turning back around, the hyena looked at his subordinate silently. The routine of familiarity was ashes beneath his feet, it would seem.

"Yes sir," he replied autonomously. Unfamiliarity or not, he knew he had to be ready for the work day ahead of him. Holding his arm out quietly, the chimera awaited the agent to grip his currently human arm, like always.

Seeing the chimera holding his arm out, the Agent fastened the satchel with the bottles inside onto the hyena's back diligently. Knotting the strings to the satchel firmly, the subordinate returned his attention to his commander in arms immediately.

"Good, let's get going, soldier," the Agent responded. Satchel planted firmly onto the hyena's back, the subordinate firmly gripped the chimera's arm. The grip had been tight as the strings on the satchel tied together seconds before.

The Agent's grip baring its fangs, Siorc stared off into the nothingness of space silently. Natlan, a nation of war. A place of complete unfamiliarity. An area of which his knowledge was completely limited. As the escort to Natlan began, one final gulp released from the chimera's throat. The ashes of his routine beneath his feet were blowing away.

Gripping prison was the only routine that remained alive today.

***

Upon reaching an unknown city in Natlan through a Teleport Waypoint, the chimera examined the area in front of him diligently. An immediate, but harsh reality presented itself before him as the examination of the area had begun fervently. The area had been extremely hot. Hot, and sweltering as if it had been summer permanently in the area. The sun that had been absent from his life beamed on the hyena's head violently. Not a single cloud had been in the sky. Not having seen the sun for an entire year, the young budding soldier inhaled quietly. What a beautiful sight it was.

Such beauty was limited, however. In the distance was a volcano. Having read about volcanoes a few times in books during his childhood, a chill crawled up Siorc's partially human spine. If the volcano were an active one, the hyena knew certain doom awaited him if it were to erupt randomly. Surveying the area one final time, nothing else of especial note stood out to the adolescent. It was almost as if, in an alternate version of Teyvat, the area of Natlan had been an inaccessible area to the entire population base.

Having been removed from the gripping prison, the hyena readied to begin his militaristic duties. Being instructed by the Fatui Agent to collect spring water from a Hot Spring a short distance away, the chimera sauntered onward. An odd, but ominous order had been given to him, however, in his instructions for the day. He was to collect the spring water alone. Alone, by himself, no assistance whatsoever. Volcanic activity being a possibility at any second, fear made a down payment within the residence inside him.

Taking another deep breath, the adolescent soldier continued walking slowly. With every crawl of a step taken, sweat poured down his back violently. Natlan's heat was a relentless, constant beat. Natlan was the nation of war and fire, indeed. Despite the unbearable heat reigning supreme, the hyena continued his travel to the hot spring diligently.

As the hot springs zeroed in within his field of vision, walking erupted into a sprint. Diligence was key. After having been a close enough distance to the hot spring, the chimera halted his sprint. Removing the satchel with the small bottles from his back readily, Siorc opened the bag slowly. The satchel cracked wide open, the young adolescent soldier peered inside. The bag contained six small round bottles. Six not having been too many, a small sigh of relief released from his throat.

Remembering he had to return the bottles filled with spring water to the agent upon completion, the hyena had begun his task of drawing the water of volcanic creation. Unscrewing the lid from the small bottle, the young soldier dipped the bottle into the searing hot water in front of his partially human person. The first bottle filled to an adequate amount, the chimera firmly screwed the lid sharply. Sweat pouring down his back viciously, the unbearable heat had begun to make a meal out of him. But, he had to continue drawing the searing volcanic water. The choice was not his. Closing his eyes, the adolescent screwed the cap off the second bottle forcefully.

Five more times, only five more times.

Dipping the second bottle into the scalding water carefully, Siorc stayed on task commandingly. The second bottle having been filled to the brim, the hyena screwed the lid on slowly. Task becoming easier with the second completion, the adolescent soldier hastened his progress of collecting the spring water carefully. Within minutes, two filled bottles had become three filled bottles. Diligent speed was key. Three filled bottles soon turning into four, the young man wiped the increasing amount of sweat on his brow.

Two more times, only two more times.

Screwing the cap off the fifth bottle, the chimera could feel slight dizziness begin to take shape inside him. The heat was becoming incredibly unbearable. Unbearable as it may have been, he knew he had to continue working. Stopping was not an option. Screwing the cap back onto the fifth bottle, the young man weakly opened the sixth bottle swiftly. Dizziness and all, the job had to be finished. Diligence was key to successful living as a forced upon Fatui soldier.

Sixth bottle having finally been filled, the half man screwed the final lid on tightly. Placing all six bottles into the satchel, the chimera staggered to his feet. The job was done. Returning to the agent was all that remained for his duties today. Removing the sweat from his brow one more time, the hyena stepped forward. It was time to leave. Leave this sweltering area and return to the land of ice. As the soldier stepped forward, however, he could hear a voice calling out to him. The voice sounded frantic, for some reason.

"Hey!" an unknown voice screamed. "Don't walk over there!"

But, it was too late, the chimera had already stepped onto the spot the unknown voice had dissuaded him from doing so. In the distance, he could hear the voice screaming again.

"I said, hey!" the voice screamed out again. "Don't walk over there! That's--" But, it was too late. The event of flames was about to begin.

As the voice had stopped calling out to him, a sudden fire shot upward in front of his partial person. Flames hitting his chest, the hyena's eyes opened wide. The unknown voice calling out to him, were they warning him about a hot spot? Thoughts, however, quickly died inside him. The fire was spreading, spreading quickly, violently. Instantly.

As the flames and his chest made their acquaintance, a labored scream broke from Siorc's throat. Oxygen turning a blind eye, the flames pursued onward. Heat intensifying with every second, a melting sensation tapped his chest happily. The melting sensation greeted his nipples kindly as the fire intensified with a playful roar. Melting and his chest were the best of friends. Heat continuing to intensify further, oxygen pushed the hyena to the ground like a bully teasing a child.

Oxygen stabbing the young soldier in the back, blackness quickly overtook him. Sound was fading away, everything was gone.

Natlan was the nation of war indeed.

***

Fortunately, outside forces would soon come to find the unconscious body of the injured hyena. Hearing the pained shouts of the chimera from afar, the Agent sprinted diligently to the scene. Flipping his body over softly, the Agent placed a cloth onto the affected area immediately. Flame eventually dissipating, the Agent picked up the lifeless vegetable body carefully. Remembering Her Majesty still had many uses for his subordinate in arms, the Fatui knew immediate medical attention was a necessity. Recalling there had been a Fatui stationed in Natlan who specialized in healing injuries in the nation of war, the Agent clicked his boots militaristically.

Eventually having found the small clinic, the Agent entered the medical facility immediately. Seeing the Fatui in question within his masked field of vision, the Agent readied to speak to the Natlan specialist quickly. Knowing such specialist usually unleashed a Hydro Delusion onto such injuries, the Agent readied for a quick and diligent healing session.

"You must be Loba," the Agent said. He held onto the vegetable body in his arms tightly. Time was money. "I need you to heal my subordinate from a Pyro related injury."

The person proclaimed as Loba sighed. Yet another stupid human being had stepped on one of the Pyro Archon's fire traps near the Hot Springs again. A quick Hydro Delusion fix would surely get this taxing job done instantly. The proclaimed person, halted such thought immediately at the sight in front of the eyes, however. The vegetable laying to dry within the Fatui Agent's arms had a tail sticking out from behind them.

The vegetable was a chimera, just like Loba. Feeling a wave of kindness bubble inside the body, the Fatui hid a tiny smile. Eyeballing the injuries three meters away, the Fatui decided. Loba would take care of the hyena far more properly.

"Place him in the bed over there," Loba replied, pointing to a white bed in the left corner of the room. "Do it carefully."

Obeying the singular medical staff with due diligence, the Agent placed the unconscious soldier into the bed as instructed. Looking down at his subordinate, he could see the blackness of charred skin on the vegetable chimera. Surely, the Hydro Delusion could fix this swiftly. Delivering the spring water to the next location had urgency.

"Use your Hyrdo Delusion quickly," the Agent exclaimed. Not a single amount of care was to be found in his voice. Time was money. "There is still work to be done."

Loba grit the teeth inside the mouth. Absolutely ludicrous nonsense. Why were the Snezhnaya multi nation Fatui always so eager to get back to work immediately? The medical specialist would end such ridiculousness now.

"Man, you Snezhnaya Fatui are so demanding," Loba said dryly. "I can't do that. This is a rather extreme injury. A simple use of my Hydro Delusion won't heal this." Dryness changed into a snarl as Loba's teeth bared witness to the Agent. "He needs rest and recuperation. I'll return him to Her Majesty when I see fit." The medical specialist was getting quite tired of this stupid human Fatui within the field of vision. "Now, leave my sight and go deliver that spring water to Inazuma." The Fatui pointed to the medical clinic door as the sentence ended. Humans were rather demanding creatures.

Choosing not to argue with the person, the Agent left quietly. Work was work. Exiting the building, the Fatui soldier proceeded to the Inazuma Teleport Waypoint militaristically.

Surely, recovery would go by swiftly. Patience was not a virtue for Her Majesty.

***

Even through layers of unconsciousness from the ordeal, fire had leaked to the insides of the young adolescent chimera's currently deeply subconscious mind.

Before him was a field of Windwheel Asters. The flowers were red, and beautiful, just as the chimera had remembered them from his stolen childhood. Such a sight being a commonality within the planes of his subconscious mind, Siorc sat down in the fictional flowerbed before him blissfully. It, however, would only last mere seconds. A faint simulated scent of fire could be whiffed by the adolescent's unconscious nose.

Inside the flower bed was a strange creature the hyena had rarely come to know in the open wilderness back in the normal, waking world. The creature was red, and fuzzy with rabbit shaped ears. The creature's face was completely black with only the dots of orange eyes being visible. The creature was wearing a robe underneath the jagged amount of fuzz. Creatures sometimes wearing clothes in the world of Teyvat, the chimera bat an eyelash at such appearance.

Batting an eyelash was a foolish subconscious mistake.

In the robed creature of fuzz's paw was a wand. The wand had a yellow tip on top of it. Seeing the wand, a gulp released itself from the hyena's currently subconscious throat. The simulated scent of fire was beginning to increase in strength. The scent of not reality becoming more potent with every subconscious second, bliss had left the body, only fear remained.

The robed creature placed itself into a red bubble readily. Waving its wand, the magical hooded creature of fire aimed its attack at the fictional flowerbed. Within seconds, the flowers of not reality burned to cinder. The robed creature danced whimsically as the destruction succeeded accordingly. Dancing having continued, three demonic heads appeared. Fire blowing from the demon's head, the grass adjacent to him turned brown instantaneously.

As the dream flowers in his mind were swiftly becoming extinct, a loud wail broke from within him. Scream penetrated into reality, hot tears streamed down Siorc's subconscious face. The flowers were dying, safety was waving goodbye, exiting the building. Torment had begun to hug him from behind.

Fire was absolutely terrifying.

***

Upon coming to, the chimera had found himself in an area unknown to him. Eyes adjusting slowly to his regain of consciousness, the hyena rubbed his eyes softly. Feeling the fog inside his mind dissipate, Siorc examined the area he was in slowly. In front of him had been a plain white bed only slightly more comfortable than his own back in his forced upon homeland. It was small, almost medical in feeling. The walls in front of him were white, and sterile. Everything about the room in front of him was clean. Such sterile feeling could mean one thing, and one thing only. He had been placed in a medical barrack somewhere.

Knowing work was his only option, Siorc attempted to raise from the bed. Such attempts were an immediate failure. As the chimera attempted to raise from the bed, an extreme sting of pain from his chest panged discordantly. Sitting up to any degree was an absolute failure indeed. As the sting of pain worsened within seconds, tears streamed down the adolescent soldier's face swiftly. Energy depleting itself almost instantly, however, the tears ceased. Tears ending prematurely, the recent horrific scene of catching fire flashed in the hyena's mind.

He remembered now. He was still in Natlan. The terrible nation of fire.

Within his low energy field of vision, the young man could see a person adjacent to him. Trying with any amount of energy he still had inside him, the hyena examined the stranger diligently. The person had tan skin, a commonality to be had within the horrifying nation of Natlan. The eye he could see was orange. The other half of the person's face was covered with a black mask with a few feathers sticking out of it. Seeing the mask on the unknown person's face, a gulp released from the soldier's tired throat. This person had definitely been a Fatui. Despite such commonality, oddities with the stranger's appearance had slowly, but surely, become apparent. The Fatui Stranger's hair had been ice blue. A rarity to be had within the nation of fire, for sure. Seeing a few Natlan citizens earlier, their hair had been bright red like the element of the nation. The uniform the stranger had been wearing was an uncommonality, as well. The stranger could be seen wearing a female Fatui uniform, but it was white. White, and sterile just like the room he had been in. Energy dying inside him, the chimera ended his examination. Strength was a corpse inside him.

Hearing the screams of pain, the Fatui sprinted over to his bedside immediately. The chimera was awake. Figuring he needed some reassurance and information about the situation, the medicinal soldier motioned the lips to speak.

"It's okay, you're safe here," the Fatui said. The voice was deep but had a sense of feminine charm within it. "My name is Loba. I'll be taking care of you." The Fatui held Siorc's currently human hand softly. "You were screaming in your sleep, but it's alright now. I'm here for you." A soft smile broke on the Fatui's face. Perhaps telling him they shared something in common would make him feel at ease here? The Fatui figured it was worth a shot. "I'm a chimera, just like you. So, you have nothing to fear."

Siorc blinked weakly at all the information presented to him. Take care of him? Uneasiness feasted inside him immediately as the words swam inside his head. He knew he had to get back to work. The chimera knew such was his only option, at this moment in time. Feeling the other's hand softly pressed against his own, the hyena used the convenient crutch to raise from the white bed. He had to tell Loba he was on the nonexistent clock. Such was the only option that remained for him.

"Thank you, Ma'am," Siorc replied weakly, voice barely audible. He had hoped addressing the person as a ma'am was correct, despite his overall feeling of weakness. "But I have to get back to work." With any energy inside him that he had left, the soldier attempted to escape Loba's grip. He had to return to work, he had no other option.

Loba's eyes lit up like the stars in the sky. Ma'am, Siorc said ma'am. Most people upon hearing her voice would refer to her as sir. Such address was incorrect, and she knew it, but she knew correcting people was useless. Momentary joy faded instantaneously hearing the chimera attempt to return to work in his condition. Absolutely not, there was no way such act of returning to duty was happening today. She had to tell the hyena work was not happening.

"Honey, no, absolutely not," Loba said sternly. "You're in no condition to be working." She placed the chimera back down onto the pillow in front of him. "You were hit by Murata's fire on the chest directly. There might be some internal damage." Why were the Snezhnaya Fatui always so eager to return to work so quickly? Loba did not know. Placing a hand on Siorc's shoulder, she softened the tone of her voice. "You need to stay in bed and rest."

A weak sigh released from Siorc's throat. Knowing he could not argue with any orders given to him, the chimera laid down like a vegetable in a bin begrudgingly. Feeling the warm hand on his shoulder, the hyena could feel his energy drain into nothing.

Eyes closing unwillingly, no energy remained inside him.

Energy was a corpse in the coffin. Dead and gone, with no one coming to the funeral.

***

Waking up again within the medical barracks had still been as painful as it had been many hours prior. The stings of pain on his chest continued endlessly within him as the seconds turned into minutes. Clicking the human tongue in the mouth, Siorc continued to lay down in the barely comfortable bed. He knew he was ordered to rest, but laying there lifelessly pained the young budding soldier. The Agent surely were to have thought of him as useless by now. Fear planted itself inside him as the thought of uselessness cemented within the dormant shark grooves in his brain.

Such thoughts were rudely interrupted by a growl of his stomach. What a rude organ the stomach was. Growl removing any line of thought inside his head, a tired sigh released from the chimera's throat. Hunger always invited itself at the most inappropriate times.

Hearing the loud rumble, Loba returned to Siorc's bedside immediately. Remembering he had a hyena tail sticking out upon being brought here, she pondered quietly. What did hyena chimeras eat? She knew she had to ask him. Loba motioned her lips to speak.

"Are you hungry?" she asked, tone of voice extremely soft. "You're a hyena chimera, right? What do you like to eat?" Another warm smile broke on her face. "I'm a jackal chimera, so our diets may be similar." She tacked on such for good measure, but perhaps such information was useless to him.

Siorc blinked upon being asked what his diet consisted of. Having always been given only food rations since living in the permafrost north, being asked what he wished to eat was a foreign concept to the adolescent. Knowing what he wanted to eat was never something that came to mind. Not wanting to have her make something complicated, the chimera wracked around in his brain for a simple recipe. The last thing he wished to be was a bother. A simple recipe coming to mind, the soldier attempted to look Loba in the eyes in his lying position.

"Radish and Veggie Soup," Siorc replied robotically. "If that's alright with you." He hoped such a recipe was not a bother for her.

Loba tilted her head slightly. Radish and Veggie Soup? An unexpected answer to be had for sure. But, if that's what the patient wanted, she would provide it for him.

"Alright, I'll go make you Radish and Veggie Soup," responded Loba softly. "I'll be right back."

Upon declaring such, Loba exited to a back room swiftly. Placing all the ingredients in the pot, a meter appeared underneath it. Hitting an orange zone, a ding pinged throughout the room. The Radish and Veggie Soup had come out perfectly. The soup shined almost brightly. It was almost as if, in the world of Teyvat, cooking was a game. Soup having been finished, Loba brought the bowl over to Siorc slowly. Placing the bowl near him, another soft smile broke on her lips.

"Here you go, the Radish and Veggie Soup," Loba said diligently. Not wanting the chimera to raise from the bed on his own, she grabbed his currently human hand. Placing him in a sitting position carefully, she looked at Siorc with her one unmasked eye. "Try not to move too much, there's gauze on your chest right now. Do you want me to feed you?"

Hearing such a ridiculous suggestion, the chimera's cheeks turned crimson. He supposed being fed would be easier, but he knew voicing any form of desire was not something he was allowed as a Fatui soldier. Energy still having been dead inside the hyena's body, he knew such help would be useful, but the young budding soldier would not falter. Desires were not allowed whatsoever.

"No thank you, ma'am," Siorc replied, energy completely absent from his voice. "I can feed myself." He could feel any amount of energy die again with every word spoken.

Loba sighed. Snezhnaya Fatui were certainly something. Seeing and hearing how little energy Siorc had, she knew she had to at least help a small amount. Resolute in her decision, the chimera Fatui held the bowl in front of him. Perhaps her holding it would be easier for him.

"I'll hold the bowl up," she said softly. "Will that suffice?" She knew how stubborn some Fatui were, but energy was nowhere to be found anywhere.

Barely having the energy to argue, the chimera weakly darted the spoon into the soup. Placing the liquid food into his mouth, the warmth of the liquid quickly became unbearable. The heat of the soup felt hotter than normal. But his family had always told him to never waste any food. Unbearable as it may have been, the chimera ate the soup slowly while the bowl had been held out for him generously. Heat of the soup travelling down his esophagus, fear made its first payment on the mortgage within the residence inside him. The heat, would it turn into fire in his throat?

Eventually having finished the Radish and Veggie Soup, any small amount of energy inside him vanished. He could feel his eyes closing again unwillingly.

Hot foods were currently the enemy.

***

Awakening a couple days later after being fed, two horrifying realities had erupted inside the chimera's mind within sections of consciousness for the day. His chest was stinging in pain intensely. Pain having been far more intense than before, his heart beat rapidly. The heat inside his chest was absolutely intolerable. Chest hurting with vigor, a pained scream broke from the chimera's throat. The first reality before him cemented itself firmly. His chest was hot, unbearably hot. Pain tolerance was a dead comrade for the hyena.

The second reality forced its way into existence immediately. His head was pounding intensely like a drum. The pounding of the head not ceasing as the minutes of the day inexorably marched onward. The pain overpowering him completely, hot tears streamed down Siorc's face. Everything hurt unceremoniously. Pain in his chest and head not ceasing for even a moment, the tears poured out faster. He knew crying would only worsen the situation, but rationality had left the building.

Hearing the extreme amount of pained sobs, Loba rushed over to the bedside immediately. Seeing the chimera crying, she knew she had to ask immediately. She had to ask him where it hurt.

"Hey," Loba whispered softly. "Where does it hurt?"

Tears halting for a momentary lapse, the question puzzled the chimera. Loba was a Fatui. He knew he was not allowed to voice any complaints to a Fatui Soldier. Knowing such a fact, Siorc remained silent. He knew breaking any sort of rules, medical Fatui or not, would result in a painful punishment back in the permafrost north. Despite the pain not ceasing inside him, no answer would ever arrive. The risk was not worth the future retribution.

Hearing no answer from him, Loba sighed. The quiet types were always the ones that suffered the most, she ventured to guess. If a verbal answer were not possible, perhaps a wordless answer would be easier for him. Having been in a similar position many years ago before being open, she knew how the chimera must have been feeling right now. Knowing what to do, Loba was completely resolute.

"If you can't tell me where it hurts, then why don't you show me?" she called out gently. Placing her arm in front of him, Loba would not falter. "Guide my hand to where it hurts."

Siorc lightly grabbed Loba's hand. Was this okay? Did such act count as complaining? The pained chimera no longer cared. No longer having the energy to care in the slightest, he carefully guided her hand to his chest and head. Tears pouring down his face again as he guided her, the hyena let go of the jackal's hand. Everything continued to hurt unceremoniously.

Being guided to where it hurt, Loba realized a cruel reality. The flames of Murata were intensifying. She knew there was only one option left if he could heal a little more properly. She did not like resorting to such option, but the choice was no longer hers. Resorting to drugs was never something she wished to do, but it had to be done. Having a Cryo Vision handy, cooling down the intensity while in heavy sedation was the final nail that remained.

"I'm sorry, honey, I'm going to have to sedate you," Loba whispered. Her words were incredibly apologetic sounding. "Her flames are intensifying inside you."

The chimera having been in too much pain to grasp the situation, Siorc simply nodded. He would do something, anything, to be free from this. Free from the pain; free from the burning. Absolutely everything was gone inside him, no thoughts remained.

Taking the nod as confirmation, Loba placed the needle of sedation into Siorc's arm. Pinching it in, a small amount of vial drained from the formerly unused medical instrument. Removing the needle, a somber grimace formed on her half visible face.

Sedatives were a disgusting option in the medical field.

"I'll use my Cryo vision to attempt to cool her flames down within you," she said softly, voice almost completely inaudible. "Sweet dreams."

Poke of the needle never having registered, blackness immediately overpowered him.

Needles were a weapon of war to behold.

***

A week having passed since the sedation incident, Siorc woke up peacefully that morning. Almost as if he had not been into a forced sedated sleep, the hyena felt especially well rested. Raising from the bed, no amount of stinging or pounding was present within him. Pain being nonexistent, feelings of bliss almost leaked out from the hyena. Such bliss would not come to fruition.

Within his line of sight was Loba. In her hands was a letter. From a distance, he could see a crestfallen look on her face. The letter, he knew it could have been only one person, and one person only. Her Majesty, she had to have been angry with her. A gulp released itself from his throat. He knew had to say something, but the words trapped themselves in the esophagus. No words were said.

Loba turned to Siorc dissonantly. He saw the letter, didn't he? She supposed hiding such a fact was now an impossibility.

"Her Majesty," Loba said weakly. Her voice was shaking as the Cryo Archon's title broke from her throat. "She wants you back." The shaking would not cease existing inside her. Threatening letters from Her Majesty were always a beast to behold.

Removing himself from the bed, fear immediately made its second mortgage payment inside him. Her Majesty, she wanted him back. He knew if she was sending a letter, it was effective immediately, or the recipient would receive punishment. Having seen punishments on public display within the Snezhnaya Palace in the past, the chimera did not wish to see such acts of violence enacted onto Loba. He had to go back immediately. The choice was no longer his.

He knew it was time, he had to go back to work. Back to his life as a Diplomatic Fatui Soldier. The injury having taken about a week and a half away, he hoped no repercussions awaited him in the frozen northern land. He knew he had to leave, effective immediately. Before exiting to teleport back to the military barracks, however, the chimera knew he had to thank Loba.

"Thank you for taking care of me, ma'am," Siorc said quietly. "I will take my leave now." He turned around before exiting the building to see Loba had been shaking. Her jackal tail had been sticking out behind her. The chimera cancelled his exit, for the time being. He knew he had to say something to her. "If Her Majesty wants to punish you, I'll take it for you." His words would not falter. Such a caring person did not deserve any amount of violent retribution upon her.

Loba blinked at such suggestion. Was that the most he had ever said to her? It mattered not to the jackal chimera. Hearing such a suggestion from a recently recovered patient, she knew a punishment should not befall the hyena. While she despised Snezhnaya with all her half human soul, going to the palace to explain the situation may have been the only way. Maybe Her Majesty would be merciful? Hope planted itself within the grooves in her brain.

"I'll just go with you and explain what happened," Loba replied, voice still shaking. She placed her hand around Siorc's elbow. "We should get going."

As the two readied to highlight the Teleport Waypoint to the Snezhnaya Palace, a cold and chilling thought ruminated within the confines of Siorc's mind. Despite the possible punishment that may have been about to befall Loba and he, the thought bubbled into overdrive.

Ice was better than fire.

Such chilling thoughts would not exit as the blinding teleportation to the permafrost north began.

Fire was a terrifying element, indeed.

Palamon

Has sent out Pikachu!

Age 25
he/him
Snezhnaya, Teyvat.
Seen 7 Hours Ago
Posted 1 Day Ago
7,320 posts
13.5 Years
9. The Palace, Lethargy, and Target Practice

Upon arriving at the door to the Snezhnaya Palace through the Teleport Waypoint, a loud gulp resonated throughout the area, twofold. Through the doors of doom awaited Her Majesty. Loba's arm still being hooked to his, a second twofold gulp released from the two chimera's throats. Whenever the doors were to be opened, a punishment was sure to await them.

Removing her hooked arm from the hyena's silently, Loba stared at the palace door lifelessly. She swore if she looked long enough, an ominous red aura glowed through the crevices. Banefulness of it all, the jackal chimera knew dawdling was no longer an option. Patience was not a virtue for Her Majesty. Shaking violently, Loba placed her hand on the sinister door softly. Punctuality was key.

Seeing Loba shaking like a nervous wet dog on a rainy day, Siorc jumped two steps forward. Placing his hand on the second door, the chimera closed his eyes quietly. Perhaps, just maybe, if both of them opened a door, the weight of the blow about to befall the two would lessen. Resolute in his decision, the hyena traced his hands upon the Fatui symbol on the second palace door. Fatui symbol rooting itself into the young budding soldier's currently human hand, the chimera was ready.

The time had come. Opening the doors had to become of the two chimeras now. Pushing dawdling into the cold snow behind them, the doors creaked open with a vicious roar. Closing the doors behind them, the chimeras stepped onto the blue carpet unceremoniously. Any moment now, Her Majesty would hear the sound of soldiers entering the palace uninvited. Would a worse punishment await entering the palace directly? Such thoughts buzzed within Loba's mind like a Cicin in the open wilderness.

Stepping five paces in front of the hyena, Loba walked over to Her Majesty skittishly. As she could see The Tsaritsa sitting ever so sharply on her throne, the jackal chimera bowed her head in submission. Not having been in the palace since her recruitment, etiquette was a necessity if one wished to keep on living as a Fatui Soldier.

Watching from behind, the hyena stepped forward like a reflection in a mirror. Seeing Loba bow, the chimera mimicked the action exactly. It having been slightly over a year since he had been in the castle last, procedures inside the castle were a dead comrade inside the adolescent's mind. But, he knew, from the medicinal Fatui's actions presented in front of him, etiquette was mandatory. Politeness was necessary, submission was key.

Raising his head slightly, a chill ran down Siorc's partially human spine. Her Majesty's left leg was crusted onto her right thigh royally. Her cyan eyes were indignant, and cold, just like the element she had control over. Cold and unloving, just as she had always been. Examining further, a faint red glow could be seen behind her robe. Becoming privy to such aura, the chill down the spine sparked discordantly. A punishment was coming, any minute now, surely.

Her Majesty glared daggers at the two chimeras in front of her. Such foolish soldiers they were, coming into her castle directly. It was almost as if they were asking for it. She cracked a small, sinister laugh as she repositioned the leg sitting upon her thigh royally. Did intelligence not exist within these soldiers' brains? Chimeras were stupid creatures.

Knowing she would have summoned her Natlan Stationed Fatui if her chimera was not returned to her, Her Majesty's laugh permeated into a smirk. Her lovely chimeras were quite the stupid handfuls. The two of them coming to her, she knew they must have been asking for it. Her judgement. The Cryo Archon would not falter.

"I've been waiting for you," Her Majesty said dryly. Her voice was as cold as the chilling wind. "My lovely wolf." Her tone was deep and low, viciousness evident throughout. "You know, you aren't supposed to keep my soldiers from me without an explanation." She cracked a cocky wry smile. Surely, the fear was going to seep in. "I gave you that Hydro Delusion for a reason. You should have used it." Her cocky smile grew wider. Fear was a beautiful instrument of war.

Noticing the low tone in the Cryon Archon's voice, Loba's heart raced rapidly. Her indignance was an overpowering beast to behold. Punishment possibly being moments away, she stepped in front of Siorc diligently. At all costs, she knew she had to protect him. Any violent repercussion that were about to befall the two of them, she would take the brunt of it. Knowing she had to explain her actions to Her Majesty, Loba continued to bow her head. She readied her lips to speak. She had to explain the situation, as planned.

"Your Majesty, my utmost apologies," she cried, voice shaking. Shaking and all, the charm in her voice remained, regardless. "He was completely incapacitated from a chest injury. The Delusion you gave me can't heal that very easily." She placed her hands into a praying position below her mouth. "I'm sorry for keeping him from you. Please, forgive me." Her voice continued to shake rapidly. Surely, this explanation would protect him from the brunt of Her Majesty's incoming punishment.

The Tsaritsa's smirk stretched wider. Her wolf had an excuse prepared, did she? Cute, she thought an excuse like this would work. If the wolf were lying to her, a violent punishment would come immediately. She would find out once and for all if such words of mitigation were the truth. She would end such ridiculous fallacies now.

Removing herself from her throne, Her Majesty strutted royally. As she inched closer, the Cryo Archon shoved the medical Fatui Soldier in her presence to the side forcefully. The shove being as strong as a magnitude ten earthquake, Loba's back hit the blue wall with ungracefulness. Blood trickling down the back, the red dyed the blue walls slightly.

Cleanup would surely be a messy job later.

Obstacle out of the way, the Tsaritsa placed her gloved hand on her chimera's shoulder sharply. Her hands were a knife cutting a radish in half for cooking. Hand glued onto his shoulder swiftly, Her Majesty ripped the Fatui uniform off the hyena's body with no effort. The rip was absolute. The uniform being reduced to a ball, it rolled onto the floor, laid to dry. The first layer was removed. The second had to go immediately. Grabbing the center of the adolescent soldier's shirt sharply, Her Majesty twisted the fabric with a heartless pluck. Center of the shirt knotted in her grasp, she lifted the fabric off the body. Shirt being on the shoulders, the Cryo Archon yanked the remainder off with a clean strike. Crumpling the shirt into another ball, the cloth bounced onto the royal rug with a treacherous roar.

All upper cloth being removed, Her Majesty examined the area of proclaimed injury. Something of immediate permeance greeted her eyes; the sight waved to her tastelessly. In place of where her Fatui Soldier's nipples had been laid a scar. The scar was deep, and brown, stretching to both sides of the skin completely. Upon seeing such grotesque mark of vile atrocity, Her Majesty let out an inaudible click of the tongue. What a disgusting sight to behold. Seeing the results, it had been evident to her in that instant. Her lovely wolf was truthful. A soft smirk graced the Archon's face.

With truth, came immediate mercy. Well deserved mercy would be had, for sure.

Backing away six steps, Her Majesty turned her heels to Loba. Removing her from the wall, her cold eyes warmed up uncharacteristically. Mercy was a rare tool that had almost never come into fruition within the Palace of Snezhnaya. Caressing her property's cheek, she prepared a soft voice to the soldier in front of her.

"So, you were telling the truth," she said, her tone was soft, but demeaning. "I'll let you off easily this time, my lovely wolf." She continued to stroke her property's cheek with a soft vigor. She knew she had to release a blow to keep her on her toes, however. "Next time, I won't be so merciful, so you'd better use that Delusion I gave you next time, or else." Her voice had been lowered to a whisper. Ending such conversation there, the Cryo Archon straddled back over to the hyena chimera swiftly. Placing her hand on his face, she caressed the cheek coldly. "My lovely chimera, put your clothes back on. Your chest is hideous. Get it out of my sight this instant." Cracking a sinister smile, her orders were absolute. Fear was a beautiful weapon, indeed.

Feeling the cold gloves caressing his face, Siorc's heart skipped seven beats. Her touch was dry ice burning upon contact. Shaking as her movements crept up on him, the hyena shook relentlessly. Hearing her orders, he knew he had to act immediately. Patience was not a virtue for Her Majesty. After the touch had ended, the young soldier sauntered over to his ball of clothes rolled onto the floor beneath. He had to be swift, Her Majesty's mind about mercy could change in an instant.

"Yes, Your Majesty," he replied autonomously, voice barely audible. "Right away." He had hoped no fear was prominent within the tone of his voice.

Picking up the shirt, the chimera unraveled the balled up clothes diligently. Shirt back to normalcy, the shirt glued itself to the hyena's body. As the scar disappeared within the fabric of the shirt, the soldier unrolled the balled up uniform. Placing his arms into the brown sleeves, the adolescent locked the uniform in place. Buttons firmly locked, he made sure the Fatui insignias he had been branded with were evidently visible. Upon finishing the redressing of the body, Siorc turned to Her Majesty. Diligence was key. Emotions were a dead soldier inside the chambers of his partially human brain. No amount of emotion remained.

Returning to her throne, Her Majesty placed her left leg onto her right thigh royally. The chimera's uniform having been on again, she wished for him to be removed from her sight immediately. She had quite enough of her partially human property invading her quarters. The time had come for their removal.

"Leave my sight," Her Majesty responded coldly. Her gloved hand pointed towards the castle door. She tossed a rag to Loba with her other hand. Blood was a messy decoration. "Clean up your back before you leave." She placed her gloved hands onto the roots of her chin. Her smile was dark and foreboding. "Next time this happens, there will be no mercy. Remember that." Her words were cold, and relentless like the permafrost north outside the door.

Orders given, Loba promenaded over to Siorc silently. When he was adjacent to her, she tugged the sleeve of the uniform. Hands trembling, such a task was an impossible feat to achieve at the moment in hand. Irony, as it may have been, the tables had reversed. She knew cleanup duty could not happen alone, at the given time.

Registering the tug immediately, the chimera gently grabbed the cloth from Loba's hand. Holding her uniform up with one hand, the hyena swiped the cloth around the affected area. The red dissolving from her tan back, sweat formed around the soldier's brow. Pressing the cloth down one more time, the young man swished the cloth with due diligence. The swishing was soft, but effective. As the blood had been no more, Siorc pushed the uniform down. Cleanup was finished.

Remembering his orders were to exit immediately, the young budding soldier's legs broke into a sprint. After Loba had caught up to him, the two exited the palace. Knowing work awaited him again in the morning, the young man returned to his room in the military barracks wordlessly with Loba in tow. As his room was within his purple eyed field of vision, the chimera turned to the young woman one final time. He owed her an apology. None of what happened was something such a nice person deserved.

"I'm sorry, ma'am," the chimera whispered softly. The words were apologetic in tone. "You did not deserve any of that." He closed his eyes quietly. What a mess everything was.

Loba released a tiny smile. What was he apologizing for? She supposed such was a trivial matter, at the moment. Seeing the chimera close his eyes, though, she knew a different matter had to be attended to.

"It's alright, honey," she replied quietly. "You look tired, let's get you to bed." Announcing such, Loba placed Siorc into his bed tucking the covers onto him. Remembering her orders were also to leave, it was the least thing she could do before her possible temporary farewell to her fellow chimera. "I have to return to Natlan. Take care of yourself." As she prepared her exit, she turned to the bed bidden hyena one final time. "If you ever find yourself in Natlan again, I'll help you out next time." Her legs practically being out the door, she waved to the soldier for final measure.

As Loba made her exit, Siorc closed his eyes defeatedly. As the world of sleep awaited him, a horrifying, and harrowing thought ruminated within the dormant shark grooves in his brain.

Ice was still better than fire.

Fire was still a terrifying element, indeed.

***

Upon waking up the next morning, immediate tiredness overtook the chimera. As his eyes opened, all energy within his partially human body escaped into the cold air hitting the window outside. Fatigue caressing his shoulder cruelly, the hyena placed his arm over his eyes. Allowing a grunt to escape his throat, the adolescent grit his teeth begrudgingly. Why was he still feeling so tired? A week and a half should have been enough time for such lethargy to exit the body. Slow healing bodies were monsters.

Knowing his orders were to arrive at any moment, Siorc rose from the uncomfortable bed weakly. Feeling a ping of dizziness overtake him, the chimera staggered to his feet. Feeling like at any moment, the world of sleep could take him away again, he knew he had to hurry his morning routine of dressing the body. Movement surely would remove the fatigue eating away at him.

Efficiency was dead upon arrival. Wooziness continuing to bite him, the hyena's uniform melted onto his body rather sloppily. As the seconds unraveled, and the pulse continued, the soldier blinked rapidly. The feeling would not leave. Fatigue was winning the battle inside him. A labored growl released from his partially human throat. Activity was hastening the issue. He knew he had to appear diligent, the sand in the hourglass was about to reach the bottom, the Agent's orders were nearing.

Closing his eyes momentarily, the young man reached into his drawer for his second favorite hairpins and earrings. Perhaps, just maybe, they would give him the first wind he needed for the day at hand. Finding his secondary treasured rabbit hairpins and earrings, the hyena clicked the jewelry and accessory into place. Rabbit hairpins giving imaginary power, the first wind arrived conveniently. It was almost as if, in a world outside Teyvat, such conveniences were armor to move a story along.

Convenience was the only saving grace for the adolescent chimera.

The chimera could hear the clacking of the Fatui Agent boots increase in volume as he had finished his especially disastrous hindered morning routine. Military work would soon be upon him again. Attempting with his best effort, Siorc put on his most diligent face possible. No matter what, he had to return to his work today. The option was not his.

When the volume of the footsteps reached zero, another pinch of dizziness entered the hyena. Convenience was dying a quick, and painful death. Hourglass sand reaching the bottom, the chimera awaited his orders quietly. His orders, surely, his orders being given to him would remove any weakness from his body. The young budding soldier waited silently in anticipation of the event of his orders being given.

"Diplomatic Soldier Siorc," called the Fatui Agent on cue. "You have been assigned training today." The masked Agent gave authoritative eye contact with his commander in arms. While looking at his subordinate, something had been concerning within his masked field of vision. The chimera's face looked pale. At any moment, he looked like he would lose consciousness. Was he still recovering slowly from the ordeal back in Natlan? He had to say something to the soldier. "You don't look well." The Agent admitted such phrase openly with due diligence. "Are you alright? Perhaps you should stay behind today." An unusual tone of concern had presented itself in the Agent's voice. An exhausted soldier was a useless soldier.

Siorc's heart skipped two beats upon hearing the suggestion of staying behind. Remembering Her Majesty had told him to leave her palace the other day, he knew a day of not working would place him in boiling hot water. He had to train today, the choice was no longer his. He had to work today, Her Majesty's anger would boil over if not. Decision having been made, the chimera placed his hand out in front of the agent autonomously.

"I'm alright, sir," he lied, energy depleting with every word he spoke. Holding his arm out for the gripping prison, he could feel it shaking rapidly. "I need to get back to work." His words were desperate. He had to work today, there was no other option.

The Agent sighed in tedium. His subordinate was unpredictable, as usual. "If you insist," he replied, defeat barely hiding in his voice. the Agent gripped the chimera's arm far lighter than he normally did. Just for today, he would reduce the gripping prison to a soft clutch. "Let's go." The reluctant escort to the training grounds raged onward.

Stubbornness was a wicked weapon of burden.

***

Having arrived at the training grounds, wooziness continued to make a meal out of the young budding soldier. Shaking his head quietly, Siorc allowed a sigh to escape his throat. A different Harbinger having been on duty within the area today, energy continued to leak out of his body with every step. Tilting forward, he could feel his head hit his training partner's back. Picking himself up immediately upon such aggravating action, the hyena feebly turned to his training partner. Everything was a disaster to behold today.

Feeling his training partner's head on his back for a moment, the practice partner turned his head to examine him immediately. His face was white as the snow in the frozen northern land. It was evident to him immediately; his training partner was in no condition whatsoever to be training today. He had to relay such words to him before the Harbinger were to speak.

"Ingne," the practice partner said sternly. He placed his gloved hand on his shoulder. "I'm taking you back to your room. You're in no condition to train with me today." Resolute as he was, however, the resounding of the unknown number Harbinger's voice echoed. What absolutely rudely poor timing.

"Ah, this isn't my jurisdiction, so you know what? Train however you want," the unknown Harbinger said lazily. They placed their black shadowy finger into their opaque ear of nothing. "I couldn't care less. I'm leaving now, peace. I have other matters to attend to." Almost as if the black shadow had never been there, they were gone almost immediately. It was almost as if, in a world outside Teyvat, such person was never meant to be at this place at that particular time.

Orders having been delivered, the chimera knew going back to his room was not an option. Removing his practice partner's hand from his shoulder, the hyena made stern eye contact with his combatant in arms. Still feeling the lack of energy eat away at him, the soldier refused to allow the weakness to win. Complaints were not allowed to him as a Fatui Soldier. Tiredness and all, he had to carry onward.

"I am fine, sir," he lied, voice barely audible. "There is no time for rest." He swore sound was beginning to bounce off his eardrums, but the chimera cared not. He knew he could not tread into hot water with Her Majesty so soon after his exit the evening before. "Please, sir." While pleading had been uncharacteristic of the hyena, he cared not, at the moment.

The practice partner raised an unseen eyebrow. His diligence was absolutely worrisome. Hearing about what had happened to him in recent times, his overall exhaustion was of no mystery to the Fatui Soldier. Reflex training was not happening today. The practice partner had another training in mind. Perhaps heavily reduced target practice could work to satisfy his partner's needs? He knew it was worth a shot.

"You aren't, Ingne," he replied flatly. His words were resolute. "I heard about what happened recently. So, we're doing something light today." He took the chimera's hand into his own and guided him to the weapons intently. "We're doing target practice today. I'll help you." His words would not falter. He would put an end to such nonsense if any were to arise.

Siorc let out a defeated sigh from his partially human throat. Not having the energy to argue, the hyena picked up the bow and arrow basket slowly. Memorizing in the past how his practice partner prepared the weapon, mimicking from memory bubbled into overdrive. Basket fastened onto his back, the two walked over to the archery targets swiftly. Upon arriving, the training partner looked like he had more to say. The soldier anticipated his words haphazardly.

"Two strikes, that's it," the practice partner said diligently. "I'm taking you back to your room immediately after." His words glowed like the absent sun in the sky. "Okay, Ingne?" His words were absolute, and final.

Barely having any energy remaining, the chimera simply shrugged. Mirroring from memory how his practice partner readied the bow for training, the adolescent soldier placed the bow in his left hand. Changing his currently human legs into a launching stance, the hyena placed the arrow within the bow's residence. As he pulled the string back to toss the arrow at the target, fuzziness bit him in the head immediately. Fuzz taking complete dominion inside him, the arrow fell to the frozen ground.

Launching the arrow was a complete, and utter failure. His first wind when he clipped his hairpins in this morning, where had it gone? The chimera did not know, such continued bouts of no energy was a mystery to him.

Seeing the arrow fall to the ground, the practice partner sighed silently. Enough was enough of this. He would guide the arrow for him. While back seating was never something any Fatui would normally do, the sun of a man couldn't care less, at the moment. The practice partner placed the arrow back into the bow commandingly. Unwavering in his decision to help, the soldier of generic stature went behind the chimera militaristically. Pulling his partner's hand back on the bow, the arrow flew speedily. Arrow hitting the target in the dead center, the practice partner gently ripped the bow from his hands. Enough was enough.

After removing the bow from his hands, the practice partner placed Siorc onto his back. Perhaps doing so without any consent was discourteous of him, but such matters were trivial to the soldier. Soldier secured to his back firmly, the practice partner readied the travel back to his partner's room in the military barracks.

"No more of this," the practice partner exclaimed firmly. "I'm taking you back to your room." With such words uttered, the practice partner continued to travel to the room in question.

Fuzziness continuing to eat away at him, all remaining energy had been gone inside him. Consciousness slipping away as his practice partner escorted the adolescent back into his room, two final thoughts weakly slipped into his brain like a pill into the mouth.

Slow healing was quite a persistent beast, and kind people were monsters.

Everything went black upon such thoughts ending.

Everything was gone. Slowly healing was a beast of burden.

Palamon

Has sent out Pikachu!

Age 25
he/him
Snezhnaya, Teyvat.
Seen 7 Hours Ago
Posted 1 Day Ago
7,320 posts
13.5 Years
10. The Dragonspine Exhaustion Saga

"How can I still be tired today?
Even after he took me back here,
All my energy has just ceased to be.
Really have to hide it, Her Majesty
The disappointment she'll feel, she'll kill me.

She told me, one too many disappointments will
Take my life away from me
Obviously, I have to hide my weakness
No way can I let this water get any hotter
Even though I feel tired, I must not falter,
So, I will continue to work even harder."


Upon waking up the next morning of his training partner returning him to his room, immediate tiredness overtook the chimera again. As his eyes opened, all energy within his partially human body had been gone. Fatigue digging a deeper hole into him, the hyena rubbed his eyes. Why was he still feeling tired? Being forced to end training early yesterday should have been enough time for such increasing lethargy to leave the body. Slow healing bodies were a beast of burden.

Knowing his orders could arrive at any moment, Siorc rose from the uncomfortable bed. Feeling dizziness overtake him, the chimera staggered to his feet. Feeling everything around him buzz, he knew he had to shake it off immediately. The Agent could arrive at any moment; time was not a virtue within the permafrost north.

Efficiency was a fallen soldier on the battlefield. As we walked over to his uniform drawer, a pulse shot through his head. Pulse overpowering the soldier, his short body stumbled to the cold ground. Rear upon the icy floor, a labored grunt released from his throat. The room was spinning, moving; turning. But, the adolescent knew there was no time. The hourglasses' sand was about to reach the bottom. Getting his uniform on had to become of him now.

Raising to his feet seeming to be impossible, a rash, but efficient idea had presented itself within the dormant shark grooves in his brain. If walking at the moment could not happen, then crawling was his only option. Knees and arms on the ground, the hyena moved forward at a Ruin Grader's walking pace. It was almost as if his entire body had become a hyena. Such was not the case, but the chimera felt such to be the case, at the moment. Towered drawers making his acquaintance, the soldier grabbed the edge of the furniture. Furniture acting as a crutch, the young man returned to his feet. Destination finally being reached, he had begun the morning routine of dressing the body.

Head leaning against the wooded edges, the chimera put on his uniform rather sloppily. Knowing the Agent were to arrive at any moment, fixing it could not become of him. Uniform finally on, he closed his eyes for a moment. Other drawer being within his reach, the young man grabbed his second favorite hairpins and earrings. Perhaps, just maybe, they would give him the energy he needed for the workday at hand. Second favorite jewelry and accessories in hand, the hyena clicked the rabbit hairpin and earrings in place. Surely, just maybe, wearing them would work, the first wind could finally arrive.

Such first wind would never arrive.

Hearing the clacking of the Fatui Agent boots increase in volume as he finished his hindered morning routine, the hyena readied himself meekly. Removing himself from the side planks of his uniform drawers, the young budding soldier straightened himself upward. Wooziness still not leaving, he attempted to put on his most diligent face possible. He knew now more than ever after the events of yesterday, he had to work harder. If disappointment were to reach Her Majesty, his life would end, for sure. Volume of footsteps reaching zero, the hyena awaited his orders diligently.

"Diplomatic Soldier Siorc," the Fatui Agent called out on cue. "We are delivering supplies in Dragonspine today." Supply bags in hand, the masked Agent gave authoritative eye contact with his commander in arms. While looking at his subordinate, concern from the previous day graced his masked field of vision. The chimera's face looked even paler today. At any moment, he looked like he would lose consciousness. Had training yesterday reset his healing progress even further? He knew he had to say something to the soldier. "You still don't look well. Perhaps I should tell Her Majesty you can't work today." An unusual tone of concern was present again in the Agent's voice. An exhausted soldier was a useless soldier.

Siorc's heart skipped six beats upon hearing his subordinate consider telling Her Majesty about his current condition. Palace incident the other day still fresh in his brain, he knew a day of not working would place him in hot water. He had to work today, the choice was not his. He had to make up for the week and a half he was out of commission. Decision being made, the chimera placed his hand in front of the agent on autopilot.

"I am fine sir," he lied, words slurring with every syllable. He continued to hold his arm out. "I need to get to work." There was a hint of desperation in his voice. He had to keep working, there was no other option.

The Agent sighed in defeat. His subordinate was continuing his stubborn charade from the other day, it would seem. "If you insist," he replied with reluctance. He placed the bag of supplies on his back with due diligence. Bag secured on the soldier's back, the Agent gripped the young man's arm lighter than he normally did. Just until this passes, he would reduce his grip a small amount. "Let's go." The unwilling escort to Dragonspine had begun.

Today would be a day that would not end well.

***

"Brains? Ha! Who needs that? I'm pretty.
Eyeshadow is much better than math,
Ah, right? Did I mention yet? I'm pretty.
Unless your eyes are broken, you'll see my beauty!
Take time out of your day, look at me!
Instead of brains, have beauty!
Flying? No, I can't do that, silly.
Uprising wind will ruin my hair! How ugly!
Look at me!"


Upon reaching a secluded area in Dragonspine through the Teleport Waypoint, the chimera looked off into the distance weakly. In his weak distance field of vision had been a dome of ice with a light blue cube in the center. Being in this area multiple times before, a quick feeling of relief washed over him. He had to deliver supplies by the lake today. Having done such task multiple times, the soldier would not falter. Perhaps, just maybe, task being familiar to him, the lethargy inside would not eat him away.

Having been removed from the softer gripping prison, the hyena was ready for his usual delivery duties to begin. Camp being to the northwest area a slight distance away, the young man had begun walking. Such walk forward was met with difficulty, however. With every step he took, his head continued to pulse. Cold air not helping matters, the weakness inside him only continued to grow. But, he knew, he had to keep going, there was no choice in the matter. Adrenaline being the only thing keeping the soldier going, the hyena kept walking toward the camp.

Icy lake almost upon him, Siorc halted his walk. Heat source adjacent to him, the adolescent tapped the button with due diligence. Despite such temporary warmth, the chimera could feel his energy continuing to deplete. Heat from the artificial flame taking the shivering away for a moment, the chimera readied himself to travel to the Fatui Camp. Heat source closing, he continued walking to the northwest side by the lake.

As his low energy walk continued, a peculiar, unknown sound could be heard from behind him. With every step he took towards the tents, a strange waddling sound resounded in the cold air. Figuring the sound was just his lethargy playing tricks on him, the chimera continued walking. Whatever sound was behind him, there was no time to investigate. Patience was not a virtue for the Dragonspine stationed Fatui.

The tricks would not cease, even for a moment. Waddling getting louder, the young man kept walking. Being numb to hearing odd footsteps at this point, the soldier would not falter. The camp he had to deliver to was nearing. Ignoring the possible imaginary footsteps was the only option at his currently cold hands. With every continued step he took, the waddling only continued to get louder. Stepping towards two wooden cages, a voice could be heard through the chilly wind.

"You there," the windswept voice said. "Why are you ignoring me? I'm beautiful!" The voice on the wind sounded flamboyant and exaggerated.

Having no time to look behind him, the hyena continued walking. Surely, the voice behind him was not real. Continuing to tell himself such, the chimera sauntered onward. Wooden tower near the tent almost upon him, he kept walking straight despite the pulsing in his head not ceasing.

The camp was almost there, thirty more steps.

His continued steps were halted, however, by the sight of a person stepping in front of him. What could this person possibly want from him? The chimera did not know, but there was no time for such distractions. Not even batting a singular eyelash at the person, he stepped around the possibly not really there body. The Fatui camp was almost upon him. But, just in case, he knew he had to get the possibly not really there person hindering his progress to leave.

"Please, sir," he said weakly, words still slurring. "I need to work." Stating such, he continued walking forward to the tents inching closer to him. Real or not, there was no time for dawdling. Her Majesty could be watching thousands of meters away.

"And ignore the beautiful me?!" the voice behind him again called out obnoxiously. "I, Kaiser, will not stand for this!" But the words did not reach the chimera.

Voice of aggravation playing on loop, Siorc kept walking. The voice, illusion or not, was the most grating sound in all of Teyvat. Tent finally being within two meters of him, a tall masked woman in a light blue opened jacket with a strange lantern in hand yanked the supplies off his back like a Treasure Hoarder pickpocketing a civilian. Supplies being delivered, the chimera motioned the second part of his routine. Turning his heelless shoes, the chimera walked to the northeast direction he came in.

As he continued walking towards the waypoint, his body again grew colder. Waddling still following him, going to a heat source was out of the question. With every step, he felt even more frigid. Agent being in his field of vision, his legs broke out into a tiny sprint. Agent finally being adjacent to him, he halted his sprint. Head still pulsating, sound around him had begun to fade away.

Seeing his subordinate finally return to him, the Agent's boots tapped onto the white snow with a militaristic roar. While his commander in arms had successfully delivered supplies, a pesky fly had been buzzing behind the chimera. Whoever such person was, they needed to be dealt with now.

"Just who is that behind you?" the Agent cried, irritation in his voice. "Do not let anyone hinder your progress, soldier!" His boots continued to tap onto the snow with a ferocious roar.

Realizing the person behind him was not an illusion if the Agent could see him, the chimera turned behind him. Vision dimming, he studied the person with any amount of energy that remained. The figure before him was tall, and male looking in appearance. The person had long bright yellow hair pulled back into a ponytail, and light orange eyes decorated with red eye shadow. The hair had reached down to about the person's shoulders. On top of the head and off to the sides had been strange looking golden strands of hair sticking out like a sore thumb. Such thick hairs were an oddity to be had, for sure. Unusual hair barely registered to his unfocused eyes, the chimera continued his examination. On the ground had been orange webbed feet. Was this person a penguin chimera? He did not know, but cared not at the moment in time. Looking up for a second, the person's outfit graced his dimming field of vision. The person's outfit was extravagant and ridiculous looking. Pink striped outfit with sequins spilling all over the snow, the hyena ended his examination. Looking at such blinding outfit drained his energy further.

Turning back around, the pulse in his head only got stronger. Feeling his body sway downward, an apology had begun to form inside him. The Agent, surely, seeing such a person behind him had to have disappointed him. Swaying not ceasing, the apology broke from his lips.

"I'm sorry, sir," he replied, words barely audible. As such words escaped him, a loud buzzing echoed throughout the area.

Words barely being able to release from the chambers of his throat, weakness made a meal out of the adolescent chimera. Body sinking into the snow beneath him, blackness overtook the hyena. As the world of unconsciousness was about to take him away, one final thought shot through him like a sniper on the battlefield.

Her Majesty and the Agent would be disappointed in him.

***
"Why am I still tired today?
Even though it is a new day,
Barely any energy is within me
But I know that is no excuse,
Even though I am tired, I need to keep working,
Diligence is key.

Feeling like this, should not be happening to me
Even so, it matters not, I cannot disappoint Her Majesty,
Even so, I cannot disappoint anybody.
Take all of this away from me, please."


Waking up the next morning, weakness continued to eat away at him. Raising from his bed within the military barracks, an immediate horror graced his partially human body. Fatigue pushing him into the hole dug out for him, the chimera pushed forward regardless.

Dressing into his uniform had been another battle on the floor warzone. Dizziness persisting, the edge of his furniture housing his uniforms became his new best friend. Such issue had not been the only one at his currently human hands. His heart was beating hard, and rapidly. Despite such fuzziness and pain, the chimera could not falter.

Agent eventually arriving for the day, another day of supply delivery in Dragonspine awaited him. Teleport Waypoint taking him to the same area, a wave of relief hit him. Heading to the same area two days in a row, perhaps, just maybe, would reduce the fatigue roaring inside him.

Luck, and the Archons were not on his side. With every step he took, his heart continued to beat at a hard and rapid pace. Head pulsing as well, every single step onto the snow was a battle to behold for the young budding soldier. Although, such weakness was not the only aggravation gracing his presence.

Webbed feet waddling behind him again, everything around and inside him was quite the stubborn burden, indeed. Sound of waddling increasing in volume, the chimera drowned out the noises around him. Giving the cold shoulder to the obnoxious person following behind him, the hyena continued his pained walk to the tents across the river with due diligence.

Still getting no reaction or praise from the person in front of him, Kaiser let out an exaggerated gasp. Ignoring him, was he? How could he ignore such a beautiful looking person, such as himself? Who did this person think he was, continuing to just walk away and not look at his gorgeous, beautiful clothes, and pretty made up face? Such crime against his beautiful person could not go unpunished.

"How could you walk away from me?!" Kaiser screamed at the top of his lungs. If he were to shout any louder, an avalanche would surely befall. Such would be an ugly sight, for sure. "I'm pretty! Quit ignoring me!"

But such words did not reach the chimera. Words bouncing off his ears, the soldier continued walking. Sound of snow roaring on the wind being the only sound he focused on, he would not let the absolutely ludicrously loud person from behind him win. Never providing the appeasement he wished for, the tent he had to deliver supplies to was nearing.

Fatui still ignoring him, Kaiser's red eyelid twitched. How could this person just keep ignoring him and his beauty? What ugly behavior from the soldier. Pyro vision on his waist glowing, a flame, a luscious blue flame glowed around him. Surely, if the cold and heartless man in front of him smelled fire, praises would be sung his way. Blue fire swirling into an inferno, the show of absolute gorgeous notoriety began.

Heat coming from behind him removing a slight smidgeon of fatigue, Siorc's legs erupted into a sprint. No matter what the ridiculous person was doing from behind him, the adolescent would not let the pest of a penguin win. Whatever he were to do, and say, turning around and giving in were never going to come into fruition. The shoulders would remain cold.

Tent finally two meters away from him, a shorter Fatui with a red uniform and a long range weapon grabbed the supplies from his back like it was a piece of candy. Supplies being delivered, and heat still radiating from his backside, he turned his heelless shoes to the direction he came in. Heat slightly helping his symptoms vanish a smidgeon, walking back to the Agent would be an easy feat.

Not getting any reaction from the Fatui yet again, another exaggerated gasp dragged out from Kaiser's throat. His beautiful fire show was being ignored? How could he? This soldier had quite the poor taste in beauty. If the fire show would not work, then perhaps claiming he will stop following him if he called him what he was: pretty would work. Flames from around him dissipated, the gorgeous penguin of Dragonspine tooted his horn.

"Say I'm pretty," Kaiser exclaimed, voice even more exaggerated than before. "Then I'll go."

But no answer ever came. Heat having vanished from the back of him, he could feel his body return to its frigid state. Agent tapping his boots within his darkening field of vision, his legs again broke out into a quick sprint. Subordinate finally being one meter of him, he ended his sprint. Heart beating harder than before, and head pulsating sharper, everything was beginning to fade away.

Seeing the pesky fly from behind his commander in arms yet again, the Agent's boots slammed onto the frozen ground. This person was still following his subordinate around? If he were to continue to hinder the soldier's work, Her Majesty would be alerted to him. If this bug were to keep buzzing around, violence would be blown upon him next time they meet.

"Quit following my subordinate around," the Agent scolded, voice higher in volume than yesterday. "Or there will be dire consequences!" His voice was loud enough to push snow off a tree nearby.

Sound clouding around him as the Agent's voice echoed, the pulse in his head had reached its climax. Feeling his body sway downward, having no energy remaining to issue an apology, the weakness sounded a victory horn. Body sinking into the snow beneath, blackness overtook the hyena for the second time. As the world of unconsciousness was inviting him back, a thought broke through him as he faded away.

What was so great about beauty, anyway?

***

Waking up the next morning, the cycle of weakness continued. Raising from his bed within the military barracks continued to be a war on the battlefield. Fatigue dropping him to the bottom of the hole, everything had begun to hurt unceremoniously. Wooziness and painful heartbeat accelerating, getting ready for the morning was still a fight to behold for the young man.

Switching to rose hairpins and earrings for the day, the chimera prayed to the Anemo Archon he had formerly worshipped. Would switching his accessory and jewelry to the flowers he loved so much give him the first wind he needed for the day? The hyena hoped such would be the case. Such convenience never came; the fatigue continued to eat away at his partially human body.

Supply delivery being upon him for the third day in a row, nothing had been out of the ordinary. Being instructed by the Agent to deliver supplies by the red grass cave again, another wave of relief flowed through him. The Archons were on his side today. Cave being a large distance away from the lake, there was no possible way the obnoxious penguin chimera could possibly hinder his work today.

The Archons had not received his prayers in the slightest.

No matter which side of Dragonspine he was instructed to traverse through, the webbed feet from behind him waddled with an obnoxious, flamboyant shriek. Not giving the ridiculously vain person the time of day, the chimera continued walking. He would not give in to the person constantly following behind him. Attention would never be awarded to such self centered man.

Fatui ignoring him again, Kaiser's glossy lips twitched about. How could such a fellow not masculine male like himself keep ignoring him and his beauty? Who did this soldier think he was, always walking away from his beautiful, gorgeous self? He would pay for this crime against beauty.

"Your eyes must be broken if you won't look at how beautiful I am!" Kaiser said, puffing out his chest. "I'm pretty, and you're blind if you can't see that!" Maybe insulting the soldier would finally have him sing praises his way.

Penguin chimera rambling on, the hyena continued walking. Insults never reaching the adolescent's ears, the young man turned to the left. Head pulsating as the obnoxious man's nonstop gibberish bounced off him, red grass cave nearing in his dimming sight and freezing body, the young soldier sauntered onward. Voice from behind him being on a different continent, all other sounds dimmed with every step he took.

Cave diagonal to him, Siorc turned to the right. Fatui he had to deliver supplies to being hard to make out as his vision got fuzzier, his heart beat faster. Blurred figure of a purple jacket in his barely there field of vision, the adolescent handed the supplies to them with due diligence. Energy dropping at lightning speed, he could feel the world of unconsciousness calling out to him for the third time in a row. Why was he feeling even worse today? The chimera did not know, but walking back to the Agent was the only option that remained.

Agent waiting for him by the Teleport Waypoint like always, the chimera sunk to his currently human knees. Everything around him was getting darker. The sound of the wind and webbed feet from behind him were accompanied by the cacophony of buzzing in his shark eardrums. The sounds, the colors; the atmosphere, everything was fading away.

Pesky fly following behind his subordinate for the third time was the final straw. This time, for sure, threats of violence would be provided to the obnoxious bug buzzing about. Raising his gloved hand, the Agent twisted the fly's sparkling pink collar as tight as the gripping prison had always been on his soldier behind him.

"If you continue to pester my subordinate," the Agent said, harshness vibrating throughout the area. "I will tell Her Majesty to take care of you." He gripped the collar of his extravagant shirt even harder. "Did you hear me? Quit getting in his way!" His words were seeping with anger. What an absolute pest this person was.

Threat of violence being thrown his way, Kaiser let out an overdramatic gasp. How could this person get his ugly gloves on his gorgeous, handmade godly outfit? His gloves were soiling the beautiful collar. He would correct such a crime to beauty right this instant. Raising his smooth, silky hands, the Archon's gift to all of Teyvat ripped the wretched gloves off his wonderful collar. Royalty dealing with him, would they? Not on his pretty nonexistent watch, they wouldn't.

"And get my clothes dirty?!" Kaiser screeched like an extinct animal. "You Fatui are quite disgusting." He was smirking as such words were said, gorgeous, silky hands waving about. "Your jobs are ugly!" He puffed out his chest. That would show him who was God's gift to all of Teyvat.

As the arguing flamed about between the Agent and the pest, the fuzziness swallowed the chimera whole. Feeling his head hit the snow, blackness overtook the chimera for the third day in a row. Consciousness slipping away, he closed his eyes in defeat.

Subordinate on the ground again, the Agent stopped any animosity at the pesky fly immediately. Three days in a row of this, it was clear to the Fatui. This could not go on any longer. His commander in arms needed medical attention right away. Placing the vegetable hyena on his back, and highlighting the waypoint to the military barracks, the return to Snezhnaya began. Placing the soldier back into the bed, the Agent was resolute on his decision.

Enough was enough, he had to tell Her Majesty.

***
"Even now I feel guilty for not doing more, if that
Note from Her Majesty had not come, I could have
Done something to prevent this from happening,
Obviously, I didn't do enough to help him, as a medical Fatui,
Siorc, really, I am so, sorry,
Cruel reality in it all, if
Only someone told me.
Please, honey, I am so incredibly sorry. As a medic, as a chimera, I failed
You in so many ways. I'm sorry."


Finding himself in bed again with no memory of getting there had become a familiar feeling to the chimera. Fourth day in a row of this charade, the hyena attempted to leave his bed. Such attempts to get up were halted at the sight of oddities presented before him in the corner of his tired eyes. Wishing to examine such oddities, the young man raised his body upward from the bed.

To the side in the spacious room of nothing was Loba. What was the medical Fatui doing here, he wondered? But such question would not leave his lips. Next to her had been an odd device he had never seen before. Situated by her was a large silver box with a screen inside it. What purpose did the silver box serve? Seeing such technology beside her, the young man let out a labored gasp. That box in the corner, nothing good would come of it, surely. Just what had Her Majesty ordered Loba to do? Sweat formed at his brow as dread planted itself further inside his partially human brain.

Hearing the quiet gasp, Loba sprinted over to his bedside. Placing him back down on the pillow in front of him, she knew she had to explain the situation to him. Placing his hand within her own, she readied to tell Siorc why she had been here.

"You've come back to us, thank goodness," Loba said, relief evident in her voice. "Her Majesty told me you haven't been feeling well lately. But I'm here for you now, so don't worry." Her words had barely any energy, but still had feminine charm, nonetheless.

Siorc squirmed upon being placed back into a laying position. The Agent told Her Majesty about his current condition? His current state of weakness being known, he knew his life was about to be over for sure. Laying in bed like a vegetable would only provide him with a swifter death, for sure. He had to get back to work, there was no other option. He had to tell Loba there was work to be done.

"I'm sorry, ma'am," he said, words slurring even worse than before. "I have to get back to work." He could feel himself twitching about laying in the bed. He couldn't stay here, Her Majesty would be disappointed in him. Thought crawling around, he covered his unfocused eyes with his currently human arm.

Loba heaved a sigh at the chimera thinking of returning to work in his condition. Being told by Her Majesty he had been fainting during work for the past few days, such would not be happening today. Why were the Snezhnaya Fatui always so eager to work no matter what condition their bodies were in? The phenomenon was a mystery to her.

Being ordered to take a look at him, Loba placed her rubber gloves on her currently human hands. Walking over to the medical devices in the corner, she pulled out the tools necessary for the procedure to begin. Metallic instrument and pill in hand, she returned to Siorc's bedside immediately. Placing him into a sitting position, the time had come to explain what she was about to perform on him.

"I cannot let you work in your condition," she said, her words were absolute. "I'm here to do a medical examination. Her Majesty requested I do so." Opening her left hand, she placed the pill in front of him. "I just need to see what's wrong with you. It's going to be okay." Would reassuring him work? Loba hoped for such to be the case.

Seeing a pill in Loba's left hand, the young man let out a labored wail. The pill in her hand, was Her Majesty ordering Loba to poison him? Already receiving lethal doses of poison from the mad malpracticing doctor, the thought of someone else doing such was a no brainer for the soldier. Capsule still in front of him, his body shook on repeat.

Soldier shaking and crying in front of her, it was obvious what had been on his mind. Fatui being unconventional as they were, toxins disguised as medicine must have been a common sight within the military barracks. The Fatui were wicked creatures.

"I assure you, honey, it isn't poison," Loba said. Her voice was soft, but absolute. "It's just a tiny pill so the procedure doesn't hurt." Her voice was getting softer and lower with every word being spoken. "I need to look at your heart." If both her hands had not been occupied, she would hold his. But, consoling was all that she could do, at this point in time. "I would never feed you poison. It's going to be okay."

Words of reassurance reaching his tired eardrums, Siorc took the pill in Loba's hand with due diligence. Swallowing the pill as instructed, he blinked as the pill travelled through his body. Shot of numbness pulsing through his body, he focused his attention on the jackal's right hand. Feeling within him dissipating he had to focus on something, anything to distract him from slight feeling disappearing.

In her right hand was a strange device. Watching as she uncoiled it, he watched carefully. The device was a strange metallic instrument with a tube at the end. On the other side of the device had been odd looking shapes he had never seen before with unusual buttons and coils littered throughout. What was that device about to do? The chimera did not know, but he knew he had to comply no matter what.

Pill being swallowed, and device being ready, Loba turned to the patient. "I'm going to insert this into your throat," she said, holding the tube in her left hand. "But, it will be okay. It's not going to hurt."

Siorc tilted his head at such remark. How would such a tool be inserted into his throat? The hyena did not know, but he knew he had to remain diligent. Diligence was key to successful living as a Fatui Soldier. Reassurance leaking throughout him, the soldier nodded.

Taking the nod as confirmation, Loba prepared herself. "It might be a little uncomfortable," she replied to his wordless confirmation. "But, I won't hurt you, I promise."

Device completely uncoiled, Loba placed the tube in Siorc's throat in a precise and careful manner. On the screen behind her had been images of the body. They were oddly realistic to an eerie degree. Other end of the device being in her not dominant hand, she continued pushing the tube down as gently as possible. Tube eventually reaching its destination, images of the inside of the heart could be seen on the screen behind her. As the inner chambers had been present upon the screen, a frown graced her partially visible face. In his heart had been two stones living inside it. They were big, and volcanic ash in color. She knew, seeing those, it could mean one thing, and one thing only. They needed to be removed. But, the tools to remove such were not with her. Knowing if such stones were not removed, it would lead to permanent damage or death, she had to tell the patient right away. Removing the device from his throat, a dark shadow covered her face.

"She marked you," she exclaimed, somber tone in her voice. "Your heart has suffered internal damages, it's just as I've feared." She could feel herself shaking slightly, but stopped herself from doing so. Shaking ceasing, she continued explaining the situation to the patient. "I need to take further action, but I must discuss this with Her Majesty." She placed Siorc's hand into her own. Guilt had begun to feast inside her with every minute passing.

Information being presented to him, the chimera's eyes grew wide. The Pyro Archon marked him? What did any of that mean? If he had not been so tired, tears would stream down his face. No energy being within him, no words could escape his lips. All the hyena could do was stare into Loba's eyes. Nothing about what he had just been told made sense. His heart was damaged? She needed to take action? No matter how many questions swam inside him, he knew he was not allowed any. Keeping his mouth shut, his quiet stare continued.

Soldier's eyes meeting her own Loba turned her head to the side. Guilt continued to tap on her shoulder on endless repeat. If Her Majesty had not requested for his return, the situation at hand could have been prevented before it had progressed to this stage. Tools for surgery not being present in Natlan, everything was falling apart like a Hilichurl tower in the open wilderness.

"I'm putting you on strict bed rest for two days," she said sternly. "I need to discuss the next step with Her Majesty." As she said such, she walked over to the door of his room, preparing to exit. "I'll see you soon."

Bed rest order being forced upon him, the hyena slumped downward onto the pillow. Closing his eyes, everything Loba had said to him echoed throughout the chambers of his partially human brain. She marked him. His heart was damaged. Her Majesty would be alerted of this. Fatigue burying him in the sand further, he closed his eyes begrudgingly.

Fire was terrifying, indeed.

***

Two days had passed into nothingness. Being ordered to stay in bed, the chimera laid about like a vegetable. Forty-eight hours being behind him, the hyena was ready to return to his duties. Praying to the Archons his forced upon duties of rest would remove the fatigue from him, the chimera rose from the uncomfortable prison of a bed.

The Archons were still not on his side.

Two days of laying like vegetation had still not removed the feelings of tiredness within him. Surely, by now, Her Majesty had to have been disappointed in him to an extreme degree. He had to work hard today, the choice was no longer his. Uniform being on, he put the most diligent face on possible.

When the Agent had arrived that morning, an odd and ominous order had been delivered to him. Being handed a Claymore, he had been instructed to attack the pest of a penguin chimera if he were to bother him again while delivering supplies. Weapon being on him, a labored gulp got caught in the esophagus. His subordinate had told Her Majesty everything. Was she ordering the death of that obnoxious man? The chimera may have been a thorn in his side, but death was not the answer. He knew such to be the case, but Her Majesty's orders were absolute.

Teleport Waypoint taking him to the first area in Dragonspine he had ever been taken to, relief washed over the chimera for the fourth time. Remembering where the camp he had to go had been, the young soldier sauntered onward. Surely, from this direction, the obnoxious and vain pest would not be able to find him this time. Confidence breaking through him, the chimera walked to the northwest direction.

Luck had been a dead soldier on the battlefield. As expected, after a few minutes of walking, the webbed feed from behind him made their waddle known to him. How in the world did this man always find him? What an obnoxious and aggravating person. Chimera or not, this game had to end now. Turning to the person, he knew he had to use what he solemnly ever did. He had to use his words. Fatui mode turning on inside him, the soldier was ready.

"I've had enough of this," Siorc said coldly. His voice was seeping with irritation. "Stop disturbing and hindering my work." Reaching for his bag, he grabbed the greatsword inside it, holding it tight. "Quit following me around, or I'll have to use force." Even if Her Majesty ordered his death, he would not enact upon such. Scaring this person had to have been enough.

Seeing the hideous weapon in the disgusting Fatui's hands, an exaggerated gasp left Kaiser's throat. Use force? On his beautiful body? Absolutely not. No weapon or monster was allowed to get anywhere near his gorgeous, silky, godly skin.

"And get my face dirty with ugly blood?" Kaiser screamed at the top of his lungs. "No way, goodbye to you, sir!" A blade touching his beautiful, gorgeous, Archon gift of a face? Never, in a million years. Climbing up a cliff nearby, the penguin vanished at lighting speed.

Pest being gone, the chimera rolled his eyes to the sky. Major obstacle no longer being in the way, he returned the blade to the bag on his backside. Show finally being over, the soldier resumed his walk over to the tent in the corner. Tall purple Fatui with a large hammer ripping the supplies off his back like paper, everything had been like it was on his first day of work. Supplies being delivered, he prepared his return to the Agent.

As he walked towards the Teleport Waypoint to meet with his subordinate, the feeling of fuzziness had become unbearable. Adrenaline from taking out his weapon leaving his body, everything within his vision had begun to fade for the fourth time. Agent being three steps away from him, he could feel the ever familiar feeling of his body sinking to the snow beneath him. Consciousness slipping away, a suppressed thought broke out as he faded away.

Everything hurt so bad, he wanted to see his family.

***
"Please take all this pain away from me,
All I want is for everything to be normal, easy
I'm so tired of being tired, please, can someone help me?
No way can I say something like this, I need to remain silent. Silence is key."


When he had woken up, he had been in an area unknown to him. In front of him had been a bed slightly more comfortable than his own in the military barracks. Rows of such beds being within his field of vision, it had become apparent almost immediately. He had been placed in a medical barrack somewhere. Realizing such, anxiety nibbled on the cartilage on his ear.

Laying down in the bed like a vegetable, he could see Loba walking into the medical barracks. As she came closer, he knew he had to tell her that he had to return to work. Being kept in bed would disappoint Her Majesty for sure. Medical Fatui by his bedside, he had to relent such news her way.

"Ma'am, please," he pleaded, voice hoarse. "I have to go back to work." There was a tone of desperation in his barely audible words. He could not stay here, there was no possible way the Cryo Archon would allow it.

Predictable line being uttered by the young bedridden soldier, Loba heaved a heavy sigh. The Snezhnaya Fatui were quite the stubborn bunch. Her Majesty allowing her to remove the stones inside him, the truth had to come out now, before it was too late.

"No, Siorc, absolutely not," Loba said sternly. "I shouldn't have let you go back to work yesterday in the first place." Sitting on top of the bed next to him, she reached for his currently human hands, holding them tight. "I found stones in your heart. I almost found them too late." Her words were shaking as more came out. She knew it was unprofessional of her, but emotions would not leave. "If you keep working like this, you're going to die." She could feel tears about to stream down her face, but she shook it off. Professionalism had left the building.

Witnessing how emotional Loba looked, tears streamed down the young man's face. Stones were in his heart? Had such stones been the source of all his fatigue lately? Feeling the tears stream down harder, not a single word could leave his throat. Everything around him had been crashing, and burning.

Patient crying in front of her, Loba placed her arms around the hyena. While such acts were still quite unprofessional, she cared not at the moment in time. Holding him tight, guilt continued to rip her apart on the inside. Regardless of such, she knew she had to continue explaining the situation to him. Removing her arms from around him, she returned to the edge of the bedside in an instant.

"I'm going to remove the stones inside you," she replied softly. "But, even if I remove them, the damage cannot be undone." Her tone dropped into a somber one again. "Removing them will help you to mostly recover, but, as you get older, you're going to suffer from arrhythmia." Guilt tapping her shoulder, she averted her eyes. "I'm sorry I didn't find this sooner."

Apology being given, tears had returned to his face. All of this happening had not been Loba's fault. Nothing about the situation had made sense to him. The guilty look on her face; her turning away, and averting his gaze. If she had felt responsible for such, he wanted to tell her it was not. But, no words were able to escape his lips. Tiredness from crying had overtaken him. Closing his eyes, defeat resounded within the chambers of the human parts of his brain.

"The operation is tomorrow," she whispered to the hyena. "It's going to be okay."

Eyes being completely closed, Loba placed the blanket back onto the chimera's body. Exiting back into the room she came in, guilt continued to roar inside her like her hormonal imbalance screaming out to her before being open about her identity.

All of this was her fault for not finding it sooner.

***

Waking up nearly a day later, slight discomfort graced his body. Achy and sore all over, the chimera had come to wonder: the stones, had they been removed from inside his heart already? Still feeling tired, he wondered if such were the case. But, the tiredness he felt, it was of a different variety. Being the only one within the medical barrack, the hyena closed his eyes again.

Opening his eyes again after a few hours, an odd, but familiar face had been within his tired field of vision. By his bedside had been a generic man with blond hair in a high ponytail. Seeing multiple people with such appearance throughout Teyvat, the chimera had been none the wiser to who such person could have been, but he had an idea.

Loba being on the other side of the room, he could see mild disgust on her face. Remembering questions had not been allowed for him, the hyena kept his lips shut. Still feeling tired and sore, a subdued sigh released into the medical barracks.

"Your training partner wanted to visit you," Loba explained, bitterness present in her voice. "So, I unfortunately let him." She turned to the human with a cold look on her face. "Why don't you make yourself useful, and give him his medication?" Fatui mode had been on, there was no softness to be had for a human.

Orders being given, the practice partner stepped into the office in the corner. Medication being handed to him, he returned to his bedridden subordinate immediately.

"Here you go, Ingne," the practice partner said. Unscrewing the prescription cap, he placed two pills into his hands. "You need to take two of these a day." Explaining the situation, his voice was stern, despite the generic timbre.

Instructions being given, Siorc downed the pills like they were candy. Being too tired to care if they were poison or not, he stared at the white walls to the other side of him lifelessly. If he were to be cooped up here for too much longer, Her Majesty would certainly end his life. Whenever Loba were to come over to his side, he would tell her. It was time to return to work. The stones had been removed. It had to have been safe for his activities to resume. Resolute on his decision, he attempted to raise from the bed.

Such attempt was an immediate failure. Loba and the practice partner placing him back down, and covers placed back upon him, his bed prison was inescapable yet again. Both Fatui looking like they had something to say, his face changed into an irritated expression.

"I know what you're thinking, honey, but you already know the answer is no," Loba exclaimed. Her voice was soft, but stern. "You just had a surgery. I'm not letting you go back to work yet." She allowed a sigh to release from her throat. "You're on bed rest and medication for a week and a half. I need to monitor your condition in case they come back." She again took his hands, holding them tight. "It's going to be okay. Her Majesty wouldn't make someone work if they're in here. I promise."

After Loba had finished speaking, he could hear the practice partner saying something to him as well. Being forced into a bed prison, he had no choice but to listen to all the words being said to him. Hands no longer being held, he covered his eyes with his arm while his training partner had begun speaking to him.

"I know this is hard for you, Ingne," the training partner said. His words were slow, and soft. "But, it's going to be okay." He placed his hand onto his shoulder. "After you get your rest, everything will go back to normal." If there had not been a mask on his face, there would be a serious look on it.

Words of reassurance from everyone around him, a heavy sigh released from his throat. Loba and the practice partner having it their way, the medical barrack would remain his prison for awhile. Her Majesty, she truly wouldn't make him work while stuck in the medical ward? He supposed, if such were the case, he would accept the current fate laid out before him.

Training partner eventually leaving, and Loba departing to the room towards the back, Siorc closed his eyes. Sleep beckoning him, a thought graced him as the world of tormented dreams possibly awaited him in the land of his subconscious mind.

Kind people were monsters.

***
"Finally don't feel tired anymore,
After all this time, I finally feel more capable, more like me,
To be honest, almost everything from the past to weeks is
Utterly a blur to me, relatively speaking.
I'm not sure what happened was real. Maybe it was a dream.

Something tells me it was not one,
Or so, that's what it would seem.
Loosely speaking, all of those recent feelings, are
Dim. A blur within my memory.
I'm not sure why I was so tired
Even that escapes me.
Regardless, I will keep working, dutifully."


Two and a half weeks had passed since the incident had occurred. Such incident had quickly, but assuredly become a blur to the chimera. Had what happened truly been real? The hyena did not know, the memories were beginning to fade for eternity.

He had remembered seeing a penguin chimera, but that was the only memory that remained within him from the past thirty days. He supposed, if such were the only memories from the past month that had remained, nothing that happened had to have been important enough for him to recall.

The chimera could recall other memories from before the blur of the current month at hand, but no matter how much he thought back to after being returned to his room by his training partner, nothing came into being. Everything apart from that partially human person the hyena had encountered had remained missing.

Barely remembering why he hadn't been at work for awhile, the chimera awaited the Agent's footsteps with due diligence. Although the blur of a month still reigning strong, multiple memories would never leave his head. His childhood had still been stolen from him. He had still been a Diplomatic Fatui Soldier. Her Majesty could still end his life at any moment if he were to disappoint her too many times.

Agent exclaiming he had looked much better was puzzling to be had, for sure. Had he been ill? The young soldier did not know, the memory would not return, no matter how many days were to pass onward within the two and half weeks since his apparent return. It was almost as if his brain would not allow for such apparent incidents to replay in his mind.

For the first week of the seventeen days, slight tiredness roared within him. Dragonspine deliveries returning from his informed absence, the hyena worked to the best of his ability. With every passing day, the lethargy would lessen a tiny smidgeon.

For the second week of the seventeen days, the lethargy was almost no longer a problem for the chimera. Adorning his rabbit hairpins and earrings again, the jewelry and accessory had given him imaginary power. Or, so the adolescent thought. Convenience was a dying breed.

The final day of the seventeen days being upon him, a realization had poured into him. For the first time in awhile, or from what he could currently remember that had not been gone, tiredness was a corpse in the casket. All energy returned to him, supply delivery had returned to complete normalcy for him. Finally feeling partially human again, his forced upon situation had gone back to the way it had been before.

Life being back to the way it had been, however, some other deep seeds of memory would still never leave the chambers of his complicated brain. The horrific incident in Natlan, the scars upon his body, the Doctor doing as he wished with him. He knew now more than ever, and knew one thing for certain.

No matter how much time were to continue passing in the permafrost north, he had to stay diligent, and as silent as possible if he were to wish to continue living. Questions were not allowed, desires were forbidden, complaints could never be voiced. Past month being a blur, or not, such convictions would never leave.

Diligence and silence were key.

Palamon

Has sent out Pikachu!

Age 25
he/him
Snezhnaya, Teyvat.
Seen 7 Hours Ago
Posted 1 Day Ago
7,320 posts
13.5 Years
Before chapter notes: the narrator is slightly lying in the timeskip summary.

11. Dottore Double Feature

TW: VIOLENCE

"Don't look at my chest, please
I've been told it looks, hideous, disgusting, a disgrace
Scars, I suppose they're to everyone's distaste
Abdicate looking at it, please.
She told me it was hideous, I have no choice but
To agree with Her Majesty.
Easy to hide with my uniform,
Right?"


Nine months had passed since the horrific Natlan ordeal had occurred. Healing from the incident completely was a slow, and taxing ordeal for the young adolescent chimera. For thirty of the two-hundred-seventy-three days, bouts of exhaustion continued onward. The tiredness coming and going like an unwanted guest at a party, the chimera begrudgingly accepted such temporary fate. Tiredness was a stubborn beast of burden to behold.

While such probes of lethargy seemed almost never-ending for the chimera, the uninvited guest visited less as the days marched onward. The cycle of fatigue had ended its temporary reign inside the young budding soldier's body. Physical recovery reaching its climax, the hyena's militaristic routine resumed to normalcy with a diplomatic roar. The uninvited guest permanently exiting, however, not every instance from the ordeal of fire had healed into nothing.

Scars were forever. A mark that would never go away.

The scar upon his chest was everlasting. Having been told such mark was a hideous sight to behold, Siorc knew keeping it covered was his only option. Disappointing Her Majesty was never something that ended well within the permafrost north. Remembering what had happened while in the castle many months before, the adolescent remained diligent. Diligence was key to successful living as a Diplomatic Fatui Soldier.

Physical scars were not the only permanence from the ordeal. Mental scars hugged the chimera from behind, never letting go. Flames still being a source of torment for the hyena, the incident squeezed the soldier's chest persistently. Flames of torment constantly leaking into his subconscious, the young soldier had come to one conclusion, and one conclusion alone.

Fire would remain to be a terrifying element, indeed.

For five of the nine months, the delivery of supplies to Dragonspine had continued its mundane routine. Ice being better than fire, the young man would not falter. The area being a slightly less harsh area than the nation that was forced upon him, the work was of no problem from the adolescent soldier. Mundaneness and repetition of it all, the chimera continued to work obediently.

Training at the military practice grounds returned to normalcy, as well. Wielding a claymore had become like holding a fork. Reflexes having become stronger from his nearing two years of his Fatui life, defenselessness was a corpse lying in the snow beneath him. Dodging projectiles was now almost instinct for the hyena.

The remaining four months were an oddity to behold. Supply delivery to Dragonspine had become less frequent abruptly. Such abruptness of the change in routine had become apparent immediately. Being requested to go to other nations for diplomatic or negotiative affairs, Siorc's militaristic life quietly prowled onward with a mundane roar. Fatui Agent he always worked with taking charge in any situation involving negotiations, the soldier continued obeying diligently. Diligence was key to successful living.

One routine would devour every other routine today.

When the young soldier had awoken that morning, an immediate chill had run down his partially human spine. He had not been in the room he had normally resided in within the military barracks. Having woken up in a room of complete unfamiliarity to him, Siorc had come to the quick and only conclusion: the Doctor, had yet again, moved him into the lab while he had been sleeping. Having not been within the doctor's grasp for a long while, uneasiness devoured the hyena instantaneously. Another day of experimentation was upon the adolescent chimera.

No matter how many routines came and went, getting used to such unpredictable pattern was never something his brain would allow. Knowing there was no escape from the den of malpractice, the hyena sauntered into the laboratory silently. He knew that whenever he was in the clutches of the Doctor, his day had been surrendered to the malicious Harbinger. The day was no longer his. Releasing a sigh from his partially human throat, the adolescent motioned slowly towards the chair the Doctor had forced him to live on during the experimentation of his body.

Noxious atmosphere swallowing the chimera whole, every step decreased in volume as the chair inched closer. Footsteps lowering in decibel with every second, the soldier strutted slowly. Seat coming closer, one final gulp released from his partially human esophagus. The chair of experimentation finally being adjacent, the chair and the hyena's rear met. There was no time; the nonexistent alarm clock was ringing.

Promptly after being seated, the Doctor handed the little experiment the usual pill of toxicity. Not having any choice in the matter, Siorc swallowed the pill autonomously. As the pill of poison travelled throughout the adolescent soldier's body, everything had been removed. All five senses were gone. As the heavy drug's lethal potency took control of his body, everything around him blurred immediately. Hearing had gone dull; every feeling had gone completely numb. Nothing remained inside him. Everything was black, silent; gone. Poison was the ultimate weapon of control.

The Doctor cracked his neck twice obnoxiously as the eyes of his test subject dimmed from the dose of toxins. Leering menacingly from underneath his mask, the subject of experiment had been no brainer for the mad malpracticing Fatui Harbinger. Hearing various months before about the scars on his little lab rat's chest; desire to open such wound further devoured the doctor daily. Today, for sure, such probing open of the chest would happen today. Multiple forceps in both hands, the Doctor's smirk grew wider underneath the mask. The heart, surely, it would provide better results than the countless failures within the brain.

Placing one of the forceps onto the uniform, all six buttons opened violently. Scar being visible as the uniform slowly opened, the malicious Doctor placed the surgical forceps onto the area sinisterly. Readily to slash, the smirk underneath the mask grew ever so slightly. As he readied the surgical tool's wrath, a voice could be heard in the background. Distractions were quite the disgusting weapon. Hearing the voice, the doctor turned to the owner of the voice sharply.

"Boss," a generic woman assistant interrupted sternly. "You had a deal with Her Majesty." She pointed to the surgical forceps in hand meticulously. "You're not allowed to experiment on his heart until adulthood." Rules were rules, she cared not if her job would be taken from her after such reminder was uttered.

Hearing such nagging bring him back to Teyvat, the doctor placed his gloved thumb in between his teeth. How dare his easily replaceable assistant speak out against him? Surmising the lab rat dying would displease Her Majesty, the mentally unsound Doctor dropped the multiple forceps onto the medical tray immediately. Rules were a ridiculously unavoidable roadblock.

"You dare interrupt me?" the malicious Doctor exclaimed. He bit his gloved thumb between his teeth harder. "After this, kiss your job goodbye!" Removing his thumb from his teeth grossly, the Doctor pointed the wet thumb at the temporary assistant crudely. His words were absolute.

Plans being thwarted, the Doctor placed the scalpel into the hand like clockwork. If the chest could not be opened due to rules of ridicule, the brain would have to do.

As the scalpel met the lab experiment's forehead malevolently, the Doctor vehemently sliced the skin of the head with a callous fury. As the brain became increasingly visible with every slice, the Doctor fiercely poked the shark grooves planted into the center of the chimera's brain with a heinous vigor. As the scalpel continued its malicious reign within the inanimate hyena's brain, the doctor poked the brown shark lump continuously. With every continued poke, the urge to bite his gloved thumb again raged into overdrive. No sparks were crackling, nothing was happening. Removing the scalpel from the brain, the malpracticing malicious Doctor placed the gloved thumb into his teeth sharply. Teeth piercing a hole into the glove, failure boiled over into vapor.

The heart would have been far more fun to play with.

"How boring!" the Doctor shouted, hand flailing about freakishly. Fangs ripping a deeper hole into the glove underneath it, a tear could be heard resounding throughout the lab walls discordantly. Removing the ripped plastic garment from his hand, the Doctor pointed a bare index finger at the numbered day's assistant almost no longer employed under him. "You, there! Sew him back up! Consider it your last order!" His word of final instruction boomed violently across the room. Failure was an absolutely disgusting insect.

Hearing the word final being uttered, the generic assistant folded her hands plottingly. If her temporary employment were ended for explaining the rules, she cared not. Rules were rules. Rules were meant to be followed.

"Right away, former boss," the generic woman replied sarcastically. Regardless of such tone, the suture had already been in hand.

Final order being given to her, the generic almost former assistant threaded the suture accordingly. Suture threading the open area neatly, the signs of surgical activity swiftly became no more. As the invasive surgical incision faded indefinitely for the time being, the fired assistant removed the suture. Carrying the unresponsive chimera to the front room he had been taken to earlier, the ex-assistant rubbed her hands plottingly.

Rules were always meant to be followed.

***

Upon waking up a few hours later, the feelings of dread immediately took residence inside the chimera's body. Having been placed back into the room he had came in was never something the hyena could ever stomach. Desiring to exit right away, Siorc exited the front room of violence immediately. Remembering the Doctor had always vanished whenever he had come to, he knew the moment at hand was the only chance to leave. All major five senses having returned, the young soldier exited the room sharply. Knowing the malicious Harbinger could return at any moment, dawdling was not an option.

As the chimera's currently legs broke out into a sprint, the former assistant copied his actions like a ninja on the battlefield. Whatever a ninja was, the hyena did not know such word. Escape path being blocked by the wall of a woman in front of him, the soldier halted his sprint. What was this woman doing? Perhaps she wanted something from him? He knew nothing of the malicious doctor's various interchangeable assistant and scientists.

"I stopped him from killing you," the assistant said. The tone of her voice had a hint of arrogance lingering throughout. "You'd better thank me."

Siorc tiled his had at such remark. Stopped the Doctor from killing him? The assistant sounding confident in her words, he supposed he had no reason to not believe her. Figuring politeness never hurt, the chimera motioned his lips to speak.

"Thank you, ma'am," he replied autonomously. Truthful or not, he supposed thanking the generic assistant did not hurt.

Hearing the robotic gratitude, the ex-assistant smirked quietly. Delicious, absolutely delicious. Gratitude was a beautiful tool to seed. "You're welcome," she replied, stepping out of the chimera's way. "I'll let you leave now. Be grateful I saved you, because you'll never see me again." Working as an assistant was boring, anyway.

Shrugging at such words, the hyena exited the lab quietly. Assistants being replaced like a pair of clothes, the chimera cared not. Never being able to tell any of the women apart, such news had no weight to the young budding soldier. Eventually returning to the uncomfortable room within the military barracks, the sense of dread from before tapped on his back grotesquely.

The Doctor, had he really tried to end his life today? The thought swirled inside him endlessly.

Body hitting the bed, the chimera closed his eyes quickly.

The Doctor was a malicious beast indeed.

***

Dreaming would not end its reign within the adolescent chimera's mind. Such nights of torment were starting to form a pattern, in the nine months of changes. The pattern was beginning to bead into place. Such outline of torment was never relenting.

Before him was a field of Calla Lilies. The flowers were orange, with a white bulb underneath. The flowers were beautiful, just like the hyena had remembered them from his stolen childhood. Flowerbed having always been there within the planes of his subconscious mind, Siorc sprawled outward into the fictional field of flowers blissfully. Such bliss was shot in the neck immediately.

Picking a Calla Lily, and placing it into his fictional pocket, an odd red root appeared mysteriously. Within seconds, the root sprung up into the fictional flowerbed instantaneously. Sudden appearance of the roots, a gulp released itself from the soldier's dream throat. Picking his currently subconscious head up, the hyena studied the new plant quietly, but surely.

The plant's roots were huge, and bright red. The roots had two orange diamonds in the center of them. Something had been peculiar about the roots on the plant adjacent to him. The roots had tiny triangular stumps on the bottom of them. It was almost as if the roots had tiny legs. The chimera studied the plant further. Looking up, something of immediate horror alerted him. The upper part of the plant had a face. Another gulp released itself from the dream throat. The plant's leaves on top of the head were red. Seeing the color of the plant in front of him, the hyena had come to the one and only horrifying conclusion.

This plant wielded the horrific element of fire.

Exclamation point oddly appearing over the plant's head, the plant lowered its head viciously. After the out of place mark vanished, a faint simulated scent of fire could be whiffed by the adolescent's subconscious nose. Knowing what fate were to befall him, the chimera jumped fifteen imaginary steps back.

Plant hearing the jump, the flames poured out from the red leaves readily. Firing balls of flames at the Calla Lilies, the monstrous plant burned their own kind heartlessly. Simulated scent of fire increasing in strength, the paradoxical plant of fire continued to fire projectiles at its family below its roots. Filicide to be had, for sure as the fictional flowerbed burned to nothing.

As the dream flowers in his mind were once again becoming extinct, a shout broke within him. Scream having penetrated into reality, hot tears streamed down Siorc's subconscious face. The flowers were dying via their own kind. Sinking to his currently subconscious knees, the loud wails continued relentlessly. Safety had left the building. Bliss was nowhere to be seen.

Filicide was terrifying, indeed.

***

"For some reason, lately, I feel more uneasy,
I'm feeling as though, something may be about to happen to me,
Evidently, it will not cease, it is growing silently.
Relatively, I cannot shake off this feeling inside me.
Your Majesty, just what is it you have in store for me?"


Another nine months had passed onward uneventfully. The adolescent chimera having remained obedient, nothing of especial happenstance had occurred for the young budding soldier. Having earned a few days off every once in awhile during the second batch of two-hundred-seventy-three days, the hyena explored Teyvat alone quietly during such momentary blissful days away from the military. Meeting a panda chimera a few times during his brief nature walks in Liyue, temporary joy made residence inside him. Vacation days were few and far in between, however. Despite being removed from nature for years, the love would not fade.

For ninety days of the nine months, various trips to Liyue with the Fatui Agent for diplomatic affairs had become the current normal. Fatui Agent and he often communicating negotiations with a tall brunette man, work could not have been more mundane than ever in his current state of stolen life. The Agent having always taken charge of such situation, Siorc watched quietly as the negotiations unfolded.

At the end of the ninety days, a piece of paper had been handed to the Agent and he. Learning quickly the nation of Liyue was the Nation of Contracts, the chimera thought nothing of the piece of paper given to the two of them. All the young budding soldier knew was the tall man had allowed the Fatui to conduct business within Liyue Harbor. Hearing such words, a seed of fear planted itself into the hyena's brain.

Her Majesty had been planning something. Something sinister. He knew, however, such concerns were not allowed to be voiced. Complaints were not allowed as a Diplomatic Fatui Soldier. Figuring whatever she had been planning was unavoidable, Siorc continued doing work obediently.

The remainder of the six of the nine months work had raged onward into nothing. Training days having been sprinkled throughout such nothingness of diligence. While obedience meant mundaneness, the young man cared not. He knew disappointing Her Majesty would lead to no mercy. Despite such obedience continuing, a persistent feeling of uneasiness ate away at him.

Such uneasiness would boil into water vapor today.

Upon waking up that morning, the feeling of uneasiness held the adolescent chimera's partially human throat tightly. Fear feasting inside him, something of immediate terror had gripped at his windpipe tighter. Being in another room unfamiliar to him upon awakening from his usual tormented slumber, Siorc had come to the ultimate conclusion: The Doctor had, yet again, moved him into the lab while he had been sleeping. Such event being rather uncommon recently, uneasiness continued to make a meal out of him. Another day of experimentation awaited the adolescent chimera.

Hearing a rumor the Doctor had been away on business in other nations for awhile, the hyena prayed to the Archons the malpracticing Harbinger would never return. Praying was a useless invention, regretfully. It was almost as if, in another version of Teyvat, the Doctor was wreacking havoc on a small green haired child's body.

Doctor having placed him in his den of malpractice, he knew the day was no longer his. Sauntering onward into the laboratory, uneasiness continued to devour the hyena violently. Knowing the day was no longer his, the chimera motioned towards the chair slowly. Chair eventually being adjacently vertical, the seat and his rear met. Remembering the assistant from last time proclaimed the Doctor tried to end his life, torment loomed over him like a certain owner of a Funeral Parlor in Liyue Harbor he had come to quietly know.

After being seated, the Doctor handed the lab rat a pill of toxicity. Gazing at the pill quietly, something of immediate note alerted the little experiment. The pill of toxins was different from the usual one he had always been given. The Doctor, was he strengthening the poison in the pills? Knowing asking questions was not something he was allowed, Siorc swallowed the pill on cue. As the pill of poison travelled throughout the adolescent soldier's body, his eyes dilated immediately. His eyes were buzzing, her ears were ringing, his heart was racing. Random bursts of energy dilated throughout him. Did the Doctor give him the wrong pill? The chimera did not know. Such energy was a curse to be had, for sure.

The Doctor cracked his back obnoxiously as his test subject's eyes dilated from the dose of caffeinated toxins. What fun it would be to experiment on the little lab rat as he was forced awake by the pill inside him. Smirking menacingly underneath the mask, the subject of experiment had been a no brainer for the mad malpracticing Sumeru Academia graduate. Today, he would look at his little experiment's arm muscles. The Doctor had come to wonder, were his test subject's muscles human or hyena? Surely, cutting into them would provide a sufficient answer.

Tightly placing a rope onto the chimera's stomach, the Doctor sinisterly cracked a mentally unsound laugh as the decision had been made. Surgical scalpel in hand, the Doctor's smirk grew wider underneath the mask. Today for sure, something other than failure would happen. Rolling up the left sleeve carelessly, the malicious malpracticing doctor was ready.

As the scalpel met the lab experiment's arm diabolically, the Doctor roughly sliced the skin of the arm with an insensitive intensity. As the slices became deeper, the arm muscles slowly, but surely became visible. Hacking away with a merciless passion, the muscular structure had finally become fully visible. As the scalpel continued its malicious reign within the bound hyena before him, the Doctor savagely poked the muscles inside the open arm. Studying the muscles after poking them, an epiphany had filled his malicious brain. Tapping the muscles one more time with his gloved hand, a sinister snarl broke loose from underneath his mask.

"Absolutely fascinating, his arm muscles are more hyena than human," he chided manically. "Magnificent! Magnifique!" A booming laugh erupted as the doctor felt more experiments into his mentally unsound mind. Perhaps now, muscle structure being known, the shark grooves inside the brain would finally activate. Next time, for sure, such success would come. Next time, surely, the predator instincts would finally activate. Future experiments living in his mind mora free, the smirk stayed on his face permanently.

Currently having no assistant or scientist on board in the room, the smile on the face dimmed slightly. Suture in hand, the Doctor sloppily closed up the surgical sized incision quickly. Suture threading through the opened area lazily, the surgical activity he had created quickly, but messily, became no more. As the surgical incision barely had become no more, the Doctor removed the suture. He cared not for such wounds to be closed, but Her Majesty requested the lab rat stay alive. The choice was not his. Perhaps hiring another temporary assistant was necessary, after all. Untying the rope of forceful restraints around the experiment, the Harbinger exited the laboratory manically. Her Majesty, she had to know of this discovery.

Barely having any energy remaining, the chimera clicked the tongue in the mouth begrudgingly. Having been awake the entire time from the new pill of toxins he had been given, a rare, but persistent thought permeated throughout the Siorc's mindscape.

He was tired.

Tired of the Doctor's experiments. Tired of all the diplomatic affairs of absolutely nothing. Tired of everything. Such thoughts overpowering him, one final thought echoed throughout the chambers of his mind.

He wanted to go home. Back home, near the forest, back home to his family. Back to Mondstadt. Away from the Fatui.

Away from his duties. Away from the Doctor, away from everything. Exiting the laboratory, the thoughts continued to echo inside him. Eventually reaching his forced upon room in the military barracks, he laid on the uncomfortable bed painstakingly. As the caffeination wore off immediately upon placing his head on the pillow, the thought echoed in his head one more time.

He wanted to go home. Back to his family. Back to Mondstadt.

Whatever order he were to receive tomorrow, he would ignore it willingly. Homely feeling filling his head, the chimera fell asleep immediately.

Tomorrow, he would finally be ready to leave.

Palamon

Has sent out Pikachu!

Age 25
he/him
Snezhnaya, Teyvat.
Seen 7 Hours Ago
Posted 1 Day Ago
7,320 posts
13.5 Years
12. Siorc Has Nowhere to Call Home Anymore

Dreaming had started to become a tormenting ordeal for the adolescent chimera. Such a reality had been clear to the young budding soldier. Such nights had become an undeniable pattern, as of recent. The pattern of torment would not cease in the night before him, either.

Before him was a familiar setting, a setting of which had been unforgettable to Siorc. In front of him was his house, the home the chimera had always resided in before his forced removal. The house near the forest had been the same as always within the land of his subconscious mind. Sameness was a dying breed, however.

In front of his house within the plane of his subconscious was a woman. The woman had green hair, hidden within the confines of a purple hood. The hood had rabbit shaped ears protruding from the top of it, an odd sight to behold for the chimera. Examining the woman further, Siorc continued to notice peculiarities about such person within the world of his mind. The odd woman had worn a dark purple jacket with tassels on the end of it. The tassels looked electrifying, the chimera ventured to guess. Oddities were rupturing; rupturing, and burning.

Within the woman's hand had been a bug shaped lantern, a device the adolescent had been none the wiser to. Nothing about the woman standing within the chimera's field of vision made sense to him. Nothing whatsoever. As such thoughts circulated, the woman of unfamiliarity motioned her lips to speak discordantly.

"The more the merrier!" cried the woman on cue. The words were wicked, and villainous in tone. As the villainy had made itself known, three tiny black winged creatures surrounded her. A cackle erupted from the woman's throat as the creatures of three floated above the woman of short stature. "Let me amuse myself a little!" The woman of unfamiliarity's cackle continued as the creatures readied their monstrous prowl.

Words of malicious intent being uttered, purple lights engulfed the woman and her creatures of odd. The purple lights crackled violently with an electrical roar as the seconds raged onward. The aces were all in hand, the blow was ready. Pointing her gloved hands at the house in front of her, the creatures of black flew speedily to the windows. Travelling taking a mere fraction of a second, the small creatures struck. The purple light radiating within the creatures shot itself into a static projectile. Loud cracks resonated throughout the area as the projectiles bounced throughout the house of familiarity. The projectiles continued their feast ferociously as the woman rampaged further, thunderous purple slowly, but surely, becoming flames. Flames of the end. The flames absorbed the place of residence rapidly as the projectiles of static ruptured vehemently.

Siorc's subconscious eyes twitched rapidly as the destruction unraveled. Why was it his house this time? Why was it always familiarity that was on the path of destruction within his not reality of dreams? Watching the flames engulf the abode within the field of his vision, a loud scream released from the hyena's throat. Shouts increasing in volume, the screams of nonexistence penetrated into the world of reality. Eyes twitching more intensely as the flames turned the house he loved into ash, the adolescent attempted to run. Perhaps if he were to run, the flames would stop. No amount of running had ever come into fruition within the legs. Such action was of an impossibility.

Running was dead upon arrival. Feeling a nonexistent adhesive lock his currently hyena legs into place, Siorc squirmed apprehensively. All he could do was watch. Watch in immobility as the combination of electricity and fire turned his former place of residence into ashes within the not reality of his subconscious mind. As the building swiftly became nothing but piles of ash, another scream released itself from the adolescent's throat. Familiarity was dead. Safety had left him behind.

Elemental reactions were a horrible invention indeed.

***

The sound of alarm bells blared intrusively throughout the military barracks. As the alarm bells struck vigorously, the dissonant groan of countless Fatui soldiers rumbled euphoniously. The alarm bells had been uncalled for in punctuality, as usual. The groans of discord sauntered onward as the seconds marched forth into minutes. Punctuality was a monster no soldier was ready for.

Hearing the cacophony of groans was enough to awaken Siorc from his especially disturbed slumber. The grunts having been far louder than any alarm bells, the chimera rose from the uncomfortable bed. The groans were never something the young budding soldier had ever gotten used to within the permafrost north. Allowing a sigh to escape the throat, the adolescent had autonomously begun his morning routine of dressing the body.

While dressing in his uniform efficiently, various chaotic thoughts swirled inside the young budding soldier's partially human brain. Uneasiness from the tormenting ordeal within his subconscious still reigning supreme inside him, Siorc gulped. He was not ready for the day that was about to happen at hand. The hyena knew, however, such thoughts would have to disappear quickly. Time was not a luxury within the frozen northern land forced upon him.

Allowing a quick sigh to escape from the throat, the adolescent clicked his earrings and hairpins into place. Upon finishing his morning routine, the presence of Fatui Agent closed in as the dread continued its feast within his partially human body. Whatever work were to be given today, the chimera had not been ready. Jumping three steps back as the Agent walked into the room, the uneasiness would not leave. Such a pesky emotion, it was. There was no time for such feelings inside the partial human brain within him. Trying to look as diligent as possible, Siorc quickly took a breath as the Agent's presence permeated within the room. Ready or not, the time for work had come.

"Diplomatic Soldier Siorc," called out the Fatui Agent on cue. "We have been assigned negotiation affairs within the city limits of Mondstadt today." The masked agent looked into the eyes of his subordinate directly with an unseen confident look on his face. Another day, another diplomatic affair.

Siorc jumped three more steps back upon hearing the name Mondstadt from his subordinate's unseen lips. Hearing such a name, the uneasiness devoured him further. Mondstadt, his former homeland. His home that had been stolen from him in his childhood a few years prior. Uneasiness not ceasing its feast, any desire to work immediately left the chimera's body. One desire circled in his mind, and one desire alone. The desire of such overpowered him, nothing inside his brain remained.

He would go find his family today.

He would find his family, and leave this place. Leave the permafrost north behind. Return home, return to his family. Having come to the decision, the desire to work was a corpse inside the adolescent. Having already been assigned negotiatory affairs previously, he knew how such work went down. Slipping away easily would be of no problem for the soon to be no longer soldier. Allowing one more sigh to escape the throat, the hyena would not falter. Today was the day everything would end.

"Diplomatic Soldier Siorc!" called out the Fatui Agent again. "Are you with me? We have work in Mondstadt today." There was an irritated tone in the Agent's voice. He could never grasp whatever could have been going on within the young soldier's mind.

Siorc flinched upon hearing the name Mondstadt again. Having been brought back to reality, he knew, he had to at least play the part of being obedient, for the time being.

"Yes, sir," he replied autonomously. He hoped no amount of desire had leaked out into his tone of voice. If such desire were to be known, his life would end for sure.

"Good, then let's go, soldier, " the Agent responded. With the confirmation given, the subordinate firmly gripped the chimera's arm. The grip had been tight as a collar around a domesticated animal's neck.

The feeling of the Agent's grip had been relentlessly overpowering for the young soldier. Knowing the grip had already cemented itself to his arm, the chimera accepted it. Gripping prison always won the battle. As the escort to Mondstadt had begun, a tiny smile grew on the young adolescent's lips.

Today would be the last day of his forced upon military life.

***

Upon arriving at the nation of Mondstadt through a Teleport Waypoint, the Agent instructed Siorc to head to a building adjacent to a windmill. Continuing to attempt to play the part of the obedient soldier, the chimera agreed disingenuously. Soon, none of this would matter. Soon, he would be back home. Such thoughts played continuously within the almost former soldier's mind.

The capital city in Mondstadt had been bustling with activity, as usual. Having snuck off to the city limits as a very young child, the chimera felt an instant wave of nostalgia flutter inside him as the Agent's escort continued. The atmosphere had been the same as it had ever been. Free spirited, and calm, just like the Archon that the people worshipped. The atmosphere had been intoxicating. Being in Snezhnaya for so long, the feeling of freedom had been a near foreign concept to the chimera. But soon, soon such feelings would be native, and common. Such thoughts continued their intoxication within the dormant shark grooves inside the young adolescent's brain.

As the building near the windmill closed in, the Agent removed Siorc from the gripping prison. In front of the building he had been instructed to go to, he could see a blonde young woman standing by the staircase. The woman of blonde adorned a ponytail, and white outfit complimented with a long green cape. Figuring the person had been waiting for the Agent and he to arrive, the chimera put on the most diplomatic face possible. He knew that, at least for a few minutes, he had to appear obedient.

"You must be the Acting Grand Master," the Agent said diligently. "We have an important matter to discuss with you." The Agent had already been absorbed into work, as expected.

Quietly observing five steps behind, Siorc did not care to listen to or participate in the negotiations at hand. Only hearing the word Mora, and nothing else, thoughts of returning to his family bustled onward. Knowing that the Fatui Agents took charge of negotiations involving finances and military, slipping away without being noticed was certainly an easy to achieve feat. The Agent did not even notice the chimera was there anymore, he ventured to guess.

As the talks of negotiations persisted fervently, the hyena quietly stepped away as efficiently as possible. The time to finally return home was upon him. As the Fatui Agent had been farther away in his line of sight, stepping back erupted into a sprint. Ending his sprint near the windmill, Siorc climbed atop a ledge nearby. Windmills were certainly not something one should jump off of. Adorning the wind glider that had been given to him by his parents at a young age, the hyena skipped off the ledge gracefully. Becoming airborne as the wind glider soared, the feeling of bliss engulfed the almost former soldier. As the windmill left the field of vision, another silent grin formed on the chimera's face.

Freedom was an incredibly intoxicating emotion.

***

Even leaving the capital city, the feelings of intoxication from freedom had not left the chimera's mind. Seeing all the familiar scenery as his gliding sauntered onward, bliss had completely taken its residence within the chamber of Siorc's mind. Having been gliding for awhile, the hyena could see his house within a decent amount of distance. Knowing now had been the perfect time, the adolescent descended from the sky of blissful nostalgia.

Nostalgia, and bliss had died upon arrival, however. As the sight of the house he had formerly lived in came closing in, images of his house being nothing but piles of ash flashed in the hyena's mind. Having nearly forgotten about the horrifying dream world he had been in not too many hours before, uneasiness had begun its feast again. Why had such images flashed in his mind? The land of the subconscious was not reality. Shaking his head, the chimera pushed the thought into the lakes he had always seen when sneaking away quietly to pet dogs as a child. Dreams were nothing more than fantasy.

As his house had zeroed in on his vision, the adolescent's eyes opened wide. He could feel the bliss inside him being shot by a sniper at the sight presented before him. His house was in shambles, complete disarray. The front door that had always been there had been gone, almost as if it had been forcibly removed by someone. The windows had also been gone. Shattered glass had been visible everywhere, staining the wooden ground with their sharp shards of danger. Everything had been broken, damaged, destroyed, everything. Siorc could feel his heart skipping more than seven beats as the sight of his disheveled house burned into his brain. Any feeling of bliss and nostalgia inside him had been gone. Joy was a dead emotion inside him.

As the horror of the scene before him played out viciously, the chimera could barely feel the tap on his shoulder. After the tap had registered, the hyena turned around frantically. In front of him had been his former neighbor, an elderly woman of generic stature. Seeing his neighbor of the past did not provide any comfort for the young adolescent, only fear remained inside him.

"Little Siorc, is that you?" the elderly neighbor asked. Seeing had no longer been a strong suit for her. "It's wonderful to see you again. You've gotten so big!" Small talk had been the inappropriate distraction, for certain.

Hearing the former neighbor comment on his size, fear swallowed Siorc whole like a shark. A shark, like the meaning of his name. Having been in the frozen north for so long, he knew the art of asking questions was not something he had been allowed. Such preventative rules did not matter at this point in time. He knew, he needed to know what had happened here. Taking a deep breath, the hyena readied the forbidden art of asking questions to his no longer neighbor from his stolen childhood.

"What happened here?" he asked weakly. His voice had been shaking with every word that had been spoken. "Where are my parents?" Tears streamed down the chimera's face as the reality of the situation before him burned in. "Where is my sister? What happened to them?" The shaking in his voice would not cease. The fear inside him devoured him endlessly. He was not ready for the inevitable answer that was about to be delivered to him.

The elderly woman closed her eyes somberly. She knew the young child had needed to know the truth. The truth was painful, but coating the situation with sugar had been an impossibility.

"Your parents are gone, young lad," the neighbor replied quietly. "Some time after you disappeared, a very tall woman came here and..." The elderly woman paused for a moment to breathe. Retelling the tale of horror was becoming increasingly difficult. After the quick breath ended, she continued. "...She sliced your parents with a horrid sword." She turned to look at the young boy before her somberly. Delivering the next blow would not be an easy one. The elderly neighbor took a final breath to relay the last bit of horror to him. "They did not survive the attack. I am so sorry, young one. They are with Celestia now."

Siorc dropped to his knees as the news broke to him. His parents were not of this world anymore. As his body would not stop shaking, the description of the woman his former neighbor had described to him struck a broken chord within him. Her Majesty, the Tsaritsa, had done this. He had no doubt in his mind Her Majesty had been responsible for the extinguishing of his parents lives. Tears streamed down the chimera's face as the reality forced its way inside him.

"What about my sister?" he weakly replied, but his voice was barely audible at this point. The tears and shaking would not cease. Hearing him must have been difficult for his former neighbor in such a state.

The former neighbor again closed her eyes dejectedly. Would the young boy be able to handle this next wave of news? She did not know, but relaying it to him was the least she could do.

"Your sister was able to get away," the neighbor replied, the tone of her voice had been completely sorrow ridden. "But her whereabouts are unknown. No one has seen the child since." The elderly neighbor left a labored sigh out after completing the round of terrifying news. Depressing news was bad for her heart.

As the news of his sister having been missing broke in the chimera's eardrums, tears continued pouring on Siorc's face. No words could escape him anymore to his former neighbor before him. His family, his family was gone. Not a trace of them had remained within the nation of Mondstadt. They were no more, finished, extinguished. He knew his sister could have been anywhere at this point. It had been years since his entire person had been taken away. Finding her now would certainly not be a realistic option.

Weakly raising from his currently human knees, the chimera haphazardly walked into the disheveled house before him. Rationality inside his brain had been dead, nothing had been working inside him anymore. As the inside of the house closed into his field of vision, another horrifying sight stole the color on the hyena's face. A sight that would permanently seed into his brain forevermore.

On the walls of the house had been Fatui insignias. Fatui insignias had been printed everywhere. On every wall, the symbol had been there, leaving its mark commandingly. Commandingly, and violently with a militaristic roar. The chimera knew now, he could not escape. He could not escape his life as a Diplomatic Fatui Soldier. As the images of the Fatui insignias crawled into the depths of Siorc's mind, the young soldier had come to but one singular conclusion. A singular horrifying conclusion.

He was Fatui property now. A soldier forevermore.

A final sob broke from the chimera's throat as the reality permeated inside him. He was a soldier, a soldier forever, and always.

The aces in hand were falling.

Palamon

Has sent out Pikachu!

Age 25
he/him
Snezhnaya, Teyvat.
Seen 7 Hours Ago
Posted 1 Day Ago
7,320 posts
13.5 Years
13. Chemical Makeup Changing and Heterochromia

As the tears within his body ceased, Siorc wiped his face quietly. Knowing his fate was sealed from the scene he had witnessed before him, the chimera begrudgingly accepted his permanent soldier life. There was nowhere to run any longer; nowhere to call home anymore. Everything was gone, no safety net from the outside nations of Teyvat remained. Having come to such conclusion, the hyena knew his only option, the one and only option that remained if his life were to continue.

He had to return. Back to Snezhnaya, back to the nation he was whisked away to in his stolen childhood. The choice was no longer his.

Such fact being the imminent, and only conclusion, the chimera prepared to exit the disheveled house of former dwelling. Such exit, however, had been interrupted violently with an immediate roar. With every step he took, the adolescent's heart beat unevenly with a vengeance. Recalling the breathing techniques he had learned during his training, Siorc placed the currently hyena hand onto his chest. Taking as many deep breaths as possible, the young soldier's irregularly rhythmed heartbeat dissipated into normalcy. Feeling the beat had finally been calm enough, the young man exited the house of former residence. The human heart was a weak muscle indeed.

Not knowing how much time had passed since escaping, the chimera tilted his head to the position of the sun in the sky. The sun not having changed position even in the slightest since arriving, a sigh released itself from the chambers of Siorc's throat. A significant amount of time had not passed. Such realization provided relief for the hyena. He knew slipping back unnoticed would be of no issue. With such facts laid out to dry, the young adolescent sauntered onward. Returning to the capital city of Mondstadt was the only option that remained.

While exiting the house of irrerepair slowly, Siorc had immediately come to notice the presence of the elderly woman had been no more. Coming to the conclusion the former neighbor must have left during his cries of agony, the hyena continued sauntering onward back to the capital city. An event of such being common within his stolen life, the young soldier thought nothing of the unannounced exit. Shaking his head to remove the unnecessary thoughts inside his partial human brain, the chimera continued trudging slowly. The past had to remain in the past. He knew such outcome could be the only one if he wished for his life to continue.

As the windmill he had previously sneaked behind earlier zeroed in within his field of vision, Siorc blinked silently. Knowing no emotion should be visibly present on his partial person, the hyena adjusted his face accordingly. As the adjustment had finalized, the blank look of nothing returned on the chimera's face. Emotions had left the building. No feelings remained inside him. Autonomy bubbling into overdrive, the windmill adjacent to the building permeated within his field of vision. Peeking behind the self proclaimed landmark upon arriving near it, his subordinate closed into the young budding soldier's sight. The Agent was still in work mode, as expected. As the Fatui Agent had been closer within his field of vision, walking had changed into a tiptoe. Returning to the exact position he had been in before, a barely audible sigh escaped his throat. Examining the Agent's hand movements, he knew his subordinate's work was about to finish. As the seconds became minutes, invisibility was a corpse inside him.

"Make sure you get it done with haste," the Agent said to the blonde diligently. "We will be taking our leave now. Get the job done swiftly, Acting Grand Master. Expect our return within a week's time." He turned to the soldier behind him as the orders wrecked their militaristic havoc. "We are leaving, soldier. Get a move on." As the Agent prepared to escort his subordinate to the Teleport Waypoint, the sight of the young soldier's currently inhuman hand cemented within the Agent's masked field of vision. Squeezing the hyena arm in front of him firmly, the subordinate's voice became grotesque in tone. "Fix your arm this instant." Squeezing the arm tighter with every second, the Agent glared at the adolescent with unseen disgust. Animal limbs were a wretched sight to behold in public spaces.

Looking at the hand in question the Agent had within the gripping prison, Siorc's heart skipped a beat. Barely having noticed his hand had transformed, the chimera closed his eyes. Using every amount of willpower to return his hyena hand back into a human one, a sigh released itself from the throat. Taking only a single attempt, his hyena paw retracted itself. The aura of disgust continuing its feast, an audible gulp resonated throughout the area. Disgust was an overpowering beast.

"I'm sorry, sir," he replied weakly. Trying not to shake as he relayed an apology, the chimera steadied the tone of his voice. Turning any amount of emotion off inside him, the young soldier stared lifelessly at the Agent. "It won't happen again." The words were autonomous and robotic. Emotions were a carcass inside the casket. Dead and gone, with no one coming to the funeral.

Seeing the transformation having been successful, an unseen smirk cracked underneath the Agent's mask. Fear was a beautiful instrument of war. Gripping the presently human arm tight enough to bruise, the Agent had begun his escort to the Teleport Waypoint. "Keep it under control in public," the Agent responded diligently. "We're heading back now, soldier. Let's go." Gripping the chimera's arm even tighter, the escort continued its vengeance.

Feeling the grip of his subordinate solder itself as the escort back to Snezhnaya persisted, the horrifying conclusion from before crawled into the hyena's mind.

He was Fatui property, a soldier forevermore.

A soldier on the chess board; a pawn, and nothing more. Gazing at the city of freedom a final time before the blinding teleportation, Siorc reached out towards the wind with his free hand somberly. Diplomacy should die a dishonorable death.

***
When the young soldier had awoken the next morning, an immediate chill had run down his partially human spine. He had not been in the room he had normally resided in within the military barracks. Having woken up in a room of unfamiliarity to him, Siorc had come to the one and only ultimate conclusion: The Doctor, had once again, moved him into the lab while he had been sleeping. Never having been placed into the same room within the Doctor's den of malpractice, uneasiness drowned the hyena instantaneously. Another day of experimentation was upon the adolescent chimera.

No matter how many times the chimera had found himself within the lab of the malicious malpraciticing doctor, getting used to the ordeal was never something his brain would allow. Knowing there was no escape from the fate before him, the hyena sauntered into the laboratory diligently. There was nothing that could be done, escape was an impossibility. He knew whenever he was within the clutches of the Doctor, his life was no longer his for the day. Surrendering to such familiar principal, Siorc motioned slowly towards the chair the Doctor had always forced him to live on during the experimentation of his body. Walking at a Ruin Guard's pace, the chair came closer ever so slowly.

Watching the little experiment walk painstaking slow, The Doctor placed his gloved thumb in between his teeth. Did the lab rat think walking slowly would delay his fate? What a stupid little chimera. He would use force to end the shenanigans once and for all. Swiftly walking from behind the test subject's back, the malevolent Harbinger pushed the tiny adolescent to the chair viciously.

"Quit dallying!" the Doctor cried, pushing the little experiment harder with every second passing. "You're on my time now!" As the Doctor finished his extreme push of force, he placed the lab rat in the chair forcefully. Like clockwork, the Doctor handed the chimera the usual pill of toxicity. "Get ready for surgery!" The Doctor let out a mentally unsound cackle after speaking his favorite sentence. The time for experimentation had almost come.

Immediately upon being forcefully seated, Siorc swallowed the toxic pill autonomously. As the pill of poison travelled throughout the hyena's body, everything had been gone. All five senses had been removed. As the drug's lethal potency made its mark within his body, everything around him blurred within minutes. Hearing had been dulled, every feeling had gone completely numb. Nothing was left inside him. Everything was black, silent; removed. The poison's potency never failed.

The Doctor cracked his neck obnoxiously as the eyes from his test subject dimmed from the dose of toxins. Grinning menacingly from underneath his mask, the subject of experiment had been a no brainer for the mad malpracticing Fatui Harbinger. This time, for sure, the shark grooves in the chimera's brain would activate. Today, he would succeed in awakening the dormant predator instinct inside his little lab rat's mind. Surgical scalpel in hand, the Doctor's beaming grin grew wider underneath the mask. Today, for sure, would be the day for success.

As the scalpel met the lab experiment's forehead vindictively, the Doctor fiercely sliced the skin of the head with a merciless passion. As the brain became increasingly visible with every slice, the Doctor irately poked the shark grooves woven into the chimera's brain with a horrific vigor. As the scalpel continued its malicious reign within the vegetable hyena before him, the Doctor poked the shark grooves continuously. With every continued poke, the Harbinger's smirk quickly turned into a grimace. No sparks were crackling, nothing was happening. The Doctor poked the scalpel onto the shark grooves violently a final time. The grimace on his unseen face grew larger as the seconds raged onward uneventfully.

Nothing, no reaction. None whatsoever. Not a single spark.

"How boring!" the Doctor exclaimed, squirming freakishly. Grinding his teeth, the malpracticing malicious Fatui Harbinger bellowed a growl, fists shaking incompetently. Another day of failure had been upon him. Removing the scalpel from his hand, the Doctor pointed his gloved index finger viciously at a generic woman assistant employed under him. "You, there! Sew him back up!" His words boomed commandingly at the woman from across the room. Failure was a disgusting creature to bear witness to.

"Of course, sir," the generic woman assistant replied, the suture already having been in hand. "Right away."

Upon the order being delivered to her, the generic scientist threaded the suture accordingly. Being used to administering surgical stitches, the assistant did not falter. Suture threading through the opened area perfectly, the signs of surgical activity quickly became no more. As the invasive surgical incision faded swiftly, the assistant removed the suture. Carrying the unresponsive chimera to the back room he had been brought into earlier, the assistant let out an exhausted sigh. Failure was all she was about to hear about for the hours to come.

***

Upon waking up again, the feeling of extreme unease would not leave the chimera's body. Having been within the back rooms of the lab in the morning hours was never a feeling the hyena had been able to stomach. Desiring to leave right away, Siorc exited the back room of silence immediately. Knowing the Doctor had never been around consecutively two days in a row, he knew the moment at hand was the only chance to leave. With all his common senses returned, the young soldier would not falter. Being at the mercy of the doctor if he were to return was not an option he wished to allow.

As the chimera sauntered onward, the assistant closed in within his field of vision. For some forsaken reason, the woman had been standing in the middle of his escape path. A gulp resonated throughout the area as his escapades were effectively halted before him. Perhaps the assistant wanted something from him? The chimera was none the wiser. He knew nothing of the malicious doctor's various replaceable assistants and scientists.

The assistant of generic stature studied the chimera quizzingly. While the experiment had been a failure again, a noticeably concerning change had occurred. A subtle, but alarming difference had permeated on the young adolescent soldier's face. A small, but especially noticeable change. An outwardly difference the chimera would not know unless shown his reflection. Stepping back for a moment, the assistant grabbed a small mirror shaped prism the Doctor had stored away from other test subjects. Such knowledge had to be known to the young man, the change could not remain withdrawn information any longer.

"You might want to look at yourself," the assistant said. She held the large prism shard to the chimera's face haphazardly, but surely. "Something is different about you."

As his reflection became visible within the large triangular prism in front of him, a scream broke from Siorc's throat. His left eye had become green. Green, like his sister and father's eyes. Was this real? Was the reflection staring back at him a reality? Surely, the refraction of light was incorrectly balanced. He knew, however, voicing any concerns was not something he was allowed to do in the frozen north. Studying his reflection a triad amount of times, the green eye staring back at him would not dissipate. It would not leave the building. Continuing to stare lifelessly at the reflection of his face within the Polarizing Prism, the mismatched colored eyes continued to glare at the hyena menacingly. The damage had begun.

The green eye mocked him silently. The chemical makeup within his brain was no longer the same.

His field of vision was now heterochromatic. Heterochromatic, and burning.

Palamon

Has sent out Pikachu!

Age 25
he/him
Snezhnaya, Teyvat.
Seen 7 Hours Ago
Posted 1 Day Ago
7,320 posts
13.5 Years
14. Spotty Vision and Pyrophobia

Dreaming had continued to be a tormenting ordeal for the adolescent chimera. Such a pattern of torment marched on inexorably for the young budding soldier. The pattern would not cease in the night before him, either.

Before him was a setting he had been to recently within the waking world. A setting of which had been persistent inside the chimera's mind as of late. In front of him was the capital city of Mondstadt. The capital city the hyena had been in the other day for work, despite exiting. The setting buzzing in Siorc's mind like a pest, however, as the object before his subconscious field of vision glared back with an invisible smirk. The one object the young soldier did not wish to see presented itself unceremoniously with an unheard roar.

Diagonal to him was the windmill near the Knights of Favonius headquarters. The windmill of which the chimera had crept behind no more than two days before. Clicking the sharp teeth within his subconscious mouth, Siorc's tongue ticked like a clock absolutely no human in Teyvat seemingly had access to, for no known reason. Ending the various amounts of sound effects in the not reality of his subconscious mind, the adolescent sighed in tedium. Why was it the windmill this time? Such landmark was of no personal attachment to him. Dreams were quite the unpredictable beast to behold.

As the windmill permeated within his heterochromatic field of subconscious vision, an unwanted figure appeared like an enemy in the open wilderness. Adjacent to him was a small angry man with a hat practically bigger than the person wearing it. The small man of anger adorned blue violet hair in a bowl cut, and malicious blue eyes that could cut the throat by glaring. The chimera gulped as the man before him cemented within his glance. The Sixth Harbinger was not something the hyena wished to see within the not reality of his subconscious mind.

The Sixth Harbinger cracked a cocky wry smile at the chimera with a vengeance. Even within the world of his dreams, the Balladeer was vicious, as always. As the Sixth Harbinger held the tassels of his hat plottingly, the hyena allowed a gulp to escape his dream throat. The look on his face could only mean one thing, and one thing, only. The man in his not reality was planning something, something sinister. The Sixth Harbinger motioned his tiny lips to speak rampantly.

"Why are you just standing there, you stupid hyena?" the Sixth Harbinger called out menacingly. "I gave you your orders! Climb the windmill, already!" The unkind man raised his left hand into a point commandingly. Even within the confines of his mind, the Sixth Harbinger's tongue had continued to be the ultimate weapon.

Knowing he could not disobey orders even within the plane of his subconscious, Siorc climbed the windmill attentively. The Sixth Harbinger being commanding as he was, the hyena knew he had to be swift with the exercise. Trying to climb the windmill swiftly was an impossibility. Stamina was dead upon arrival. Dead and gone, like his parents in the mortal waking world. As his crawl up the windmill continued, the Sixth Harbinger cackled ferociously. Hearing the laugh of nonexistence, uneasiness immediately took residence within the young budding soldier's mind. That man laughing was never a good sign.

"Slow and stupid, just like I thought!" the Sixth Harbinger cried. Another malicious cackle broke from his throat readily. "This ought to speed you up, though." Almost like clockwork, the Sixth Harbinger snapped his fingers militaristically. Smirking from ear to ear, the Harbinger's reign of terror would not falter. As the snap ended, a brunette man with a bandana covering the face appeared almost magically. Turning to the brunette of generic enemy stature, the unkind man spoke again. "You know what to do. Throw the potion at the stupid hyena!"

Hearing such phrase being uttered, the hyena's legs locked up instantaneously. Within the hand of the brunette criminal was a bottle of fire. A bottle of fire that all generic enemies of that man's stature seemed to have in the open wilderness back in reality. Having occasionally seen such a bottle in the real world did not provide any comfort for the adolescent soldier. The windmill was about to burn away. Burn away, as he was forced to climb it within the plane of dreams. Uneasiness overpowering him, Siorc remained unmoving upon the Mondstadt landmark. Slowly but surely, the chimera knew, the fire would reach him. As the feelings of torment made a meal out of him, the soldier readied for the flames of subconscious torment to consume him.

"Fry!" the brunette criminal cried on cue. Autonomously, the criminal lunged the bottle of fire at the windmill. As the Pyro infused bottle travelled to the windmill swiftly, a chuckle broke from underneath the man's bandana. "Have a little taste!" The words were robotic, and automatic. It was almost as if, in a world outside of Teyvat, zeroes and ones had determined such words were the only ones the man could say.

Swiftly, but surely, the bottle of fire and the windmill met. Watching the flames engulf the landmark instantly, a loud scream released from the hyena's throat. As the fire begun incinerating the chimera's currently hyena leg, the shouts increased in volume. While the fire had absolutely no feeling within the not reality of his dreams, the ghastliness of the ordeal removed any rationality within Siorc's currently subconscious mind. As the flames of numbness continued absorbing the young adolescent soldier, the screams of nonexistence penetrated into reality. Defeatedly, the young man closed his eyes grimly. Subconscious death would surely take him soon.

At least, dying in the world of dreams did not reflect reality.

***

Upon awakening in the morning, harsh realities had erupted inside the chimera's mind within seconds of his consciousness for the day. As his eyes opened, the immediate feelings of horror overtook him. Within his heterochromatic field of vision were black spots and fuzz. The black spots dominating profusely as the minutes sauntered onward, the chimera blinked continuously. Hoping the act of blinking would reduce the world of fuzz before him, the act would not cease. He knew, however, such acts had to end soon. Time was not a luxury within the permafrost north.

Raising quietly from the uncomfortable bed, the chimera had autonomously begun the morning routine of dressing the body. Spotty and fuzziness and all, he knew the Agent would arrive at any moment to relay his orders to him. Blinking ferociously as his uniform melted onto his partially human person, the fuzziness and spots of black dissipated slowly. Efficiency was dead upon arrival. As eyesight restored itself somewhat, the hyena clicked the hairpins and earrings in place swiftly. Time was running out. The hourglass's sand was reaching the bottom.

The chimera could hear the clacking of the Fatui Agent boots increase in volume as he had finished his especially rushed morning routine. Inescapable military work had been upon him as the footsteps stomped with a militaristic roar. Sighing as the loud heeled footsteps continued increasing in volume, the young soldier attempted to look as diligent as possible. No matter what, the hyena knew there was no escaping whatever work was about to be given to him today.

When the volume of footsteps had been reduced to zero, another sigh released from Siorc's throat. Whatever orders were to be relayed to him today, the chimera knew he had to be ready. Awaiting his orders, the young budding soldier waited quietly. The hourglass's sand had reached the bottom. Time was gone.

"Diplomatic Soldier Siorc," the Fatui Agent said on cue. "You have been assigned training today." The masked Agent gave authoritative eye contact with the commander in arms. While looking at his subordinate, something had been peculiar within his masked field of vision. The chimera's eye had been different from the last time he had saw him. Had the young man done something to his eyes? Not normally one to point out differences, the Agent knew he had to ask the hyena. "What happened to your eye?" Tilting his masked head, the Agent continued to study the green eye in front of him. Sudden differences were certainly alarming.

Siorc flinched at such a question. Why did the Agent want to know about his eye? What a ludicrous, bold question of him. Ludicrously of it all, the chimera did not wish to answer such forbidden act of being asked a question. Perhaps the refusal of an answer would make the subject die. Determined to kill the subject with words, the young budding soldier motioned to speak. He would end this nonsense now.

"Nothing, sir," he answered disingenuously. Holding out his arm to prepare for the gripping prison, the chimera hurried his next words rapidly. "Isn't it time to go?" He continued to hold out his arm for the Agent to grab like an invitation to a party. "It would be a shame if I were late." Such words were uncharacteristic of him, but the hyena cared not. If acting opposite of himself would distract the Agent from his question, he would continue to do so.

The Agent sighed in tedium at such obvious attempts to not answer his question. He never knew what was going on in his subordinate's head. Pushing further with questions was a useless endeavor indeed. Dropping the subject, the Agent gripped the chimera's arm tightly like a rope holding a hostage.

"If you insist," he replied, defeated tone unable to hide from his voice. "Let's go." The escort to the training raged onward with a diplomatic roar.

Asking questions was a forbidden art in Snezhnaya, indeed.

***

Having arrived at the training grounds, Siorc breathed quietly. Any moment now, the Sixth Harbinger would speak. Feeling a random wave of uneasiness bare its fangs, the chimera jumped five steps back. Flashes of the dream he had mostly forgotten replaying in his mind, anxiety continued its feast. Fear continuing to swallow the hyena whole, feelings outside numbed immediately. Not feeling the tap of his training partner, the feast continued. Readiness had left the building. Dream flashbacks had won again. Tap having eventually registered, the adolescent turned to his training partner diligently. He could not falter. Time was not a virtue in the frozen northern land.

"Ingne? What happened to your eye?" his training partner asked quizzingly. If he had not been wearing a mask over his face, there would be a puzzled on it. "It looks different." Such a sight to behold was an oddity to the soldier. While questions were not something that were often allowed within the military, the man of generic stature asked anyway. Such oddity was too noticeable to not do so.

Siorc glared at his practice partner irritably. Why were people asking that so freely today? The forbidden art of asking questions was strong today. Continuing to glare, no answer would ever arrive. He was quite tired of being asked or told about his mismatched eyes lately. Unconventionally showing emotion on his face, the chimera would not falter. No more questions, they had to halt now.

Sweat poured down the training partner's neck like a waterfall as the anger on his combatant in arms face was evident. Did he not want to talk about it? The look on his face was evident. He knew an apology was in order. Folding his hands, the training partner placed his hands near his lips. Asking such unwanted questions must have been rude of him.

"Ah, sorry, you probably don't want to talk about that," the generic soldier replied apologetically. He turned to his subordinate again noticing his weapon had not been in hand. "Let's go get our weapons, in the meantime. I apologize for my nosiness, Ingne." Hoping the apology would get through, the training partner let out an inaudible sigh. Curiosity should die a dishonorable death.

Hearing the extreme apologetic tone in his training partner's voice, the chimera removed the glare from his face. Had he really looked that angry? The hyena knew he had to apologize in return. As the two walked over to the weapons, Siorc mirrored the hand movements of his subordinate. Never having done such an action before, the apologetic stature was crooked upon enacting upon it.

"I apologize, sir," the chimera replied weakly. Tone of his voice practically mirroring his subordinate's, the hyena placed his hand on his hair. He must have looked incredibly unintelligent right now. "I did not mean to be rude." He tacked on such for good measure, but it might have been too late. Rudeness was a violent verbal weapon.

While relaying the apologies, Siorc grabbed his beginner claymore hurriedly. Remembering the Sixth Harbinger would arrive at any moment, time was no longer a virtue within the training grounds in Snezhnaya. Watching as his training partner fastened his collection of bows and arrow basket onto his back, the two walked back to the training grounds. The training partner, however, seemed as though he had more to say. The soldier anticipated the words haphazardly. Was his apology not genuine enough? Fear continued its feast inside him as such thoughts permeated.

"Don't fret too much about it," his training partner said, kindness glowing with every word being spoken. "Everyone has something they don't want to talk about." A smile formed from underneath his mask. The unseen smile glowed like the absent sun. Kind people were monsters.

As the conversation ended, the familiar sound of the Sixth Harbinger's maliciousness sounded. There had no longer been time for conversation. Action was becoming of him now.

"Since you're all weak ignoramuses, you're all doing something different today," the Sixth Harbinger said with a vicious tone. Seeds living in his left hand, the unkind man smirked wryly. Throwing the seeds down onto the ground, the Harbinger's smirk continued to grow. "Have fun dying! Bye!" A small laugh broke from his throat. Berating those under him was his favorite pastime.

As the seeds glowed on the frozen ground below them, a hoard of circular gelatinous creatures bounced onto the training grounds instantly. Many soldiers knowing how to handle such monsters, dozens died within minutes of arriving. While such had been true for almost all of the soldiers within the training grounds, such truth was a falsehood for the young adolescent chimera.

As a red gelatinous creature bounced over to Siorc quickly, the chimera jumped fifteen steps back. Jumping erupting into a sprint, the hyena clung to his practice partner's back immediately. The creature of fire bouncing closer with every second, the young budding soldier's body shook rigorously. No, not Pyro. Anything but Pyro. Of anything he could no longer deal with, Pyro had been one of such instance. He knew fear on the battlefield meant death, but rationality was a corpse inside him. Continuing his cling to his partner's back, the adolescent held back a scream. Any minute now, the creatures of fire would come. Fear devouring the soldier whole, every amount of other feelings were immediately absent from inside him. Shaking was all that remained.

The practice partner having noticed the feeling of hands on his back, he knew he had to say something to his combatant in arms. Fear was a normal emotion to have for inexperienced fighters. Knowing how to deal with panicking soldiers, the man of generic stature turned around gently. He would remind his subordinate of the breathing exercises he had taught him previously.

"Are you afraid?" the training partner asked softly. Gloved hand holding the chimera's currently hyena palms quietly, the man had begun his reminder of breathing exercises. "Take a deep breath, okay, Ingne? Deep breaths." Removing a gloved hand from his palms, the training partner placed a hand onto the young budding soldier's chest. The sun of a man continued to help his subordinate steady his breathing. "That's good, just like that, Ingne, you're doing great." After having been steady enough, the training partner tapped the young man's soldier lightly. Perhaps he would be less frightened if he fought the creatures with him? He knew it was worth a shot. "If you're scared, I'll help you fight the Pyro Slimes, it's okay."

Having felt calm enough to be rational again, a weak smile broke on Siorc's face. While he knew on the battlefield he had to fight alone, training was an entirely different animal. Tail accidentally sticking out from behind him from the previous ordeal, the hyena nodded. Offering help was an endangered species in Snezhnaya.

"Thank you, sir," the hyena replied feebly. Gripping his common claymore with his currently visible claws, confidence quickly poured into the young soldier's body. "I appreciate it." He hoped his words had come off as genuine.

Hearing words of appreciation, his practice partner nodded in confirmation assuredly. "Alright, Ingne, I'll go after the big Slimes, you fight the small ones," he replied diligently. His words continued to beam like the absent sun in the sky. "I'll shoot an extra arrow or two at the small ones if you feel afraid again, okay?" The soldier fastened his bow upon finishing such statement.

Charging his arrows at the bigger Slimes instantaneously, the gelatinous creatures faded to ether immediately upon being hit. Ending the lesser lives of such creatures was like child's play for the experienced soldier. While monsters were rarely something he had to fight, years of experience bared their fangs ferociously. As the big creatures were no more, a soft smile broke underneath the man's mask. He hoped such battle would be the same for his partner adjacent to him. Sameness was a dying breed, however.

Never having fought such creatures before, Siorc swung his claymore haphazardly at the small Slimes in front of him. As the damage to the monsters piled up, the chimera continued his attacks recklessly. Recklessness scrambled onward as the small unintelligent creatures of fire's eyes looked pained from the attacks. After seconds of violent swings, the hyena slapped his currently out tail at the creatures as a final measure. As his unprofessional unskilled attacks of amateur hour ended, the creatures had begun expanding. The hyena allowed a sigh to escape the throat upon finishing. Fear was a terrible emotion to bear witness to.

"Ingne, back away!" his training partner cried. "Pyro Slimes blow up when they're defeated!"

Siorc's eyes grew wide upon hearing such revelation being relayed to his ears. It had been too late by the time such fact was brought to his attention. Trying to back away was useless. The lesser creatures quickly exploded as the explanation had been completed. The explosion's blast causing small scale damage, the hyena could feel the presence of heat melting his uniform. Feeling his heart skip a beat as the small fire fixated itself onto his outer layer, all emotion left him. Nothing remained. Everything inside him was gone.

"Ingne!" his training partner called out again. Seeing the life deplete from his practice partner's eyes, the soldier of generic stature removed the burning coat immediately. "Let's get this uniform off you."

Throwing the burning cloth onto the ground, the man foolishly removed his mask to blow the small fire out. He knew the element of Hydro would be far more helpful, but vision bearers were nowhere to be seen within the training grounds. Miraculously, almost as if the man had Anemo in his breath, the flames on the clothes vanished quietly. Like blowing out candles on a cake, the fire ceased raging on the clothes laid out on the frozen ground below.

As the flames dissipated, the hyena stared lifelessly at his slightly singed uniform on the ground. Everything inside the hyena was gone; removed, empty. Only the admonishing torment of fear remained inside him.

Fire was incredibly terrifying, as always.

Palamon

Has sent out Pikachu!

Age 25
he/him
Snezhnaya, Teyvat.
Seen 7 Hours Ago
Posted 1 Day Ago
7,320 posts
13.5 Years
15. Siorc Vision Saga - Acrostic Poem

"Spots are beginning to appear in my vision, daily
Everything is starting to look black,
Everything is going missing, leaving.
I'm pretty sure this is just the start of the ending, for my vision, clearly.
Nothing but a sea of black spots will soon engulf me.
Gratefully so, at the moment, shaking it off, the black spots leave.

I'm almost certain, though, this will not last long, but I know I cannot complain.
Silence is key, diligence is mandatory.

Best to just shake it off, and continue working,
Every day, lately has just been simple diplomatic affairs of nothing. It is
Likely such will continue for awhile, Her Majesty has been rather predictable, as of late.
I'm certain it will be fine, I can hide my weakness easily.
Easily, quickly, and with due diligence.
Vehemently, I must do so, the choice does not belong to me.
If I focus, and blink, the black spots will go away.
Nothingness will not win today,
Green and purple eyes slowly losing focus, I continue to work silently.

***

As the days are going on, the
Black spots in my vision are lingering longer,
Soon, I fear I will not be able to shake them off, the blackness, the nothing
Only time will tell, even so I must not falter. I must keep shaking it off.
Looks like another day of diplomacy is upon me,
Until I no longer can see anything, I need to keep working
This is a battle, I need to keep fighting
Every day is a battle, in this cold breeze.
Looks like today is another business affair, the agent will take charge of the situation, like always.
Eyes losing focus swifter, muscle memory may need to start to become of me
Yes, surely, if I go through the motions, no one will suspect a thing.

Every day, I feel like it is worsening, the black dots in my vision, they are increasing, soon will my
Vision be nothing? Months of this, I fear it is beginning to happen.
Each day I wake up, I fear soon that I will see nothing.
Right now, training on the grounds is upon me,
Yes, surely, muscle memory can guide me.
There is no way I can complain,
Her Majesty, surely, she will kill me.
I'm going to keep silent, even though the black spots are increasing.
No way I can disappoint the Cryo Archon,
Guess I need to keep staying silent. Silence is key.

It is worsening, and it is worsening daily.
Spots in my vision, they are continuously increasing.

Cannot even escape into my dreams, a sea of constant fire awaits me.
Letting out a scream, nothing is safe,
Everything hurts unceremoniously,
All those dreams of fire, the past will never leave me be.
Really, I am used to it at this point. But, the past will always haunt me.

The malicious doctor is not helping matters,
Opening me up, poisoning me, doing as he wishes with me.

Malicious experiments with a merciless fervor,
Everything is gone within me. Everything is off, I cannot see, feel, hear anything.

Next days after, waking up is now a battle,
Opening me up the other day, the Doctor, does he know
What he did to me?

As the days go on, the black spots, now, my vision is starting to blur
Looks like shaking it off is still a possibility. It is certainly
Likely I can still hide this weakness, the Agent will not suspect a thing.

Only now do I realize how much harder this battle upon me is getting. Regardless, I must not
Falter. Delivery of machine parts being my orders for awhile, I continue my work diligently.

The deliveries, for the moment, they are going smoothly.
He does not suspect a thing, despite how spotty and blurry things are within my reach.
I'm starting to get used to these episodes of blackness, episodes of fuzz.
Soon, perhaps, I won't need my eyes. Muscle memory will be able to guide me, take over in times of the spottiness before me.

Muscle memory is beginning to fail me sometimes, I can feel myself faltering. Machine parts missing hands,
All I can hear is his yelling, a series of screams.
Knowing my subordinate will tell Her Majesty, I apologize dutifully, as necessary.
Even so, with every given day, handing over the supplies,
Surely, muscle memory can guide me. As my vision blurs for longer. Time marches onward.

Painfully, it is worsening, the world of blur that won't end its reign.
Every day, it is becoming harder to shake off the blurred world.
Regardless, I know I must, complaining is not allowed to me.
For the past six months, it has been a battle,
Even so, I cannot falter, I cannot show weakness.
Cannot let Her Majesty find out, she will certainly be disappointed. Day of
Training upon me, another day of dodging is ready. Or

So it would seem, a different Harbinger is in charge on this day,
Even her orders are a drastic change, machines of fire were the training ground's entire being.
No, this cannot be. Not Pyro, anything but flames.
Screaming, everything around me blurs. I cannot see.
Event of flames playing out, I feel my heart beat unevenly.

Nothing is here, everything is blurry.
Only sounds can guide me, at the moment.
Would seem luck is on my side, however, my practice partner, he seems to be able to guide me.

Irises shut, directions in the darkness, I can dodge the horrifying flames with ease.

Fortunately, dodging in darkness was a successful endeavor,
I'm certain now, more than ever. Muscle memory holds a certain power. However,
No matter how much time passes, fire is still a terrifying element to the beholder.
As every night passes, my dreams, the flames, they will not cease. The Crimson Witch, the Fair
Lady, she burns all my flowers inside my imagination, the Fair
Lady, everything is ashes, cinders, subconsciously, I let out a scream.
Yet, the dreams continue, they will not yield. They will not cease.

Seems the blurry world before me, it is worsening.
Every day, it is becoming harder,
Every day, shaking off the sea of fuzz is taking longer.

Today, it would seem, a day off has been granted to me by Her Majesty.
How can that possibly be a good thing? She is planning something, surely.
Evidently, I decided to see them again, those bamboo trees.

Taking a rest within the plains, the panda chimera was there, slow and lazy,
Really did not expect them to be so perceptive, do they know my current weakness? My disappearing vision?
Undeniably, it is becoming a struggle to hide,
This battle, I am most certainly losing.
How much longer can I keep silent? I know it has to be an eternity. Complaints, they are forbidden permanently.

The days are continuing, and marching on swiftly.
How many days has it been since my
Eyes became purple and green? Three hundred sixty five? Time is beginning to blur, just like my eyes, I cannot comprehend, really.

Den of malpractice, another day of experimentations is ready.
Opening me up again, will he ever be satisfied?
Cannot fathom why he keeps trying,
There has not yet been a successful attempt,
Obviously, I cannot say a word, questions are not allowed to me. Waking up hours later, something has come to me.
Right now, I have come to a realization, an epiphany.

His experiments, his tinkering, his games, he did this to me. My
Eyes, the damage is irreversible. But I know I cannot say a word. Silence is key.

Days after his failure, diplomatic affairs have returned
It is now nearly impossible. I can barely see.
Do not know how much longer I can keep the charade going.

The Agent, he will be disappointed in me. The Agent,
He is going to tell Her Majesty. I must not slip up, I must keep going.
In the world of fuzz, I must keep doing my job as a Fatui.
Soon, I fear, fuzz will turn to pure blackness, but I must not complain, I cannot say anything.

Tight lipped, I continue my duties with due diligence.
Obnoxiousness of it all, the world of fuzz is almost inescapable.

Maybe, I have run out of time. But, time is not a virtue, patience is fleeting.
Everything is gone, fuzzy, disappearing.

Seeing is not believing. That is the
Ultimate reality. I can no longer win the battle,
Right in front of me everything is missing,
Evening upon me, I close my eyes
Looks like a tormenting world of sleep beacons me.
Yawning, the Eighth Harbinger awaits me in the world of dreams."

Palamon

Has sent out Pikachu!

Age 25
he/him
Snezhnaya, Teyvat.
Seen 7 Hours Ago
Posted 1 Day Ago
7,320 posts
13.5 Years
16. The Soundproof Room

Dreaming had still been a rather tormenting experience for the young adolescent chimera. The night before him had been no different.


Before him was a plane of flames, ever burning eternally in the land of his subconscious mind. Flames, and a behemoth of a woman he had never seen before in the mortal, waking world.


The Behemoth had cream colored hair, partially knotted into a bun, but was also let loose and down. One look at her hair, it could be seen trailing down her back, being quite the length. The behemoth adorned an outfit as red as the flames she produced. The young chimera could never see her face, either, the masked face was hard to make out. Analyzing the woman never did the chimera any favors, he was none the wiser as to whom the woman may have been.


Siorc, however, remembered once hearing of the legend of the Crimson Witch of Flames, but the world he had been in now had no room for pondering. It was a common occurrence within the world he had been forcefully pulled into while in the scape of the dreams.


Between him and the behemoth was a familiar face. Green hair, and jade eyes he'd recognize anywhere. His younger chimera sister, Hase, the soft and gentle girl. He knew, if she was here in his subconscious mind, something of utter torment was about to befall him.


The flames had begun to rise around the behemoth. The young man could only watch in horror as the start of the burning had begun.


"Say goodbye to your sister, little chimera!" proclaimed the alleged by his mind Crimson Witch of Flames. An exaggerated cackle could be heard as the flames had begun their rampage within his dream world.


The fire had begun surrounding his sister rapidly, but surely, although subconscious Hase remained silent. No words had been said. As the flames engulfed her, simultaneous feelings of distress and dread had reached the young man. Why? Why was it his sister this time? What did it mean? What did the behemoth want from him?


"Hase! Hase, get away!" cried Siorc, panic extremely evident in his voice. "Hase!" But his cries were not heard. She could not see, she was unable to answer. Dread and fear continued to engulf the young adolescent as the flames continued swiftly. "Hase!" he shouted one more time, but it was useless. The horror before him would not cease existing.


He knew running was pointless, but a sprint broke out within his legs. Small hope, he had small hope maybe, just maybe, if he ran to her, the burning would stop. But, the evident laugh of the witch before him said otherwise.


"You fool! It's far too late for that!" cried out the behemoth. "Watch as your sister burns away!" Another burning cackle had been released from the behemoth's throat as the short girl had been melting before him. The young man fell to his knees as the ashes of his subconscious sister laid before him. The chimera could feel various amounts of hot tears reach his subconscious face as the horror before him had become the not reality. He knew, none of this was real. None of it, it was nothing more than a dream. He knew that, but the absolute horror before him was never quite something he knew he could shake off so easily.


"Hase, no... why?" he cried out weakly. Even within his subconscious mind, safety clearly had left him behind.


***


Complaints about the young chimera's screaming of terror in his sleep had reached Her Majesty in the mortal, waking world. Normally, the god would directly punish such an incident with a warning of violence, but she had been feeling merciful towards the soldier. His use was not yet of a hindrance to her.


The Cryo Archon called upon the youngest Harbinger whom she had recently requested to return from their affiliated banking debt collection duties in the far away area of Liyue. The god looked into the eyes of the final numbered eleven harbinger to relay her orders to him.


"My lovely Tartaglia, take the chimera to the soundproof room within the soldier's barracks," she commanded. Her eyes had been absolute and punishing.


"Yes, Your Majesty," came the reply of the Eleventh. Immediately, his boots could be heard leaving the vicinity.


***


It had not taken the young man long to reach the chimera in question within the barracks.


"Hey," the Eleventh lightly spoke. "Buddy, wake up."


The voice of disturbance was enough to wake the tormented sleep of the hyena. Upon the waking of his body, the soldier examined the voice speaking carefully. Before him was a blocky figure of brown spiky hair, and far taller stature than him. Most of these features, however, were fuzzy at the moment in time.


Despite the fuzziness, the chimera knew the man before him was his superior. But not one he had known any amount of knowledge about. The two were never known to interact before.


Knowing he could not disobey a superior above him in the Fatui, the chimera weakly rose from the bed. As he had arisen, the hyena attempted to focus on something, anything, to distract him from the innate fear he had inside him.


"I'm taking you to the soundproof room, okay? Let's go." the Eleventh again called out to the chimera.


The call out had been enough to return the chimera to reality. The dazed individual went through the motions of obedience. He could still barely see any of his surroundings, no matter the familiarity around the hyena. Siorc knew complaining was not going to win him any sort of favors. Silence was all he could do at any given moment.


The silence continued vigorously as the travelling to the sound proof room proceeded. No matter what questions the young budding soldier may have had for the eleventh before him, he never figured he had been given the allowance of asking any. While the travel before him ventured on, Siorc gave a quiet examination of his escort. Fuzzy and all, something of particular concern had washed over the chimera. His blue eyes, there was absolutely no life in them. None whatsoever. Seeing such a sight had made him ponder: were his eyes lifeless as well? Lifeless, and empty, just like his escort, the Eleventh? The thought sat inside the hyena like a monster on the prowl.


The thought of such had been cut short by an interruption as the blurriness of a steel room had been presented before him. The destination had been before the young man in the sight of his unfocused eyes.


"We're here," spoke the Eleventh. As he had announced such, the Harbinger brought the young man into the room swiftly to not delay on his orders. "Do not disappoint Her Majesty, again and, hey, let's battle someday. I'll take you on." The escort had exited, with the declaration of battle someday.


As the presence of the Eleventh had begun to vanish, Siorc attempted to progress the moments of which that had occurred. Nothing was of any sense to him. Was the Tsaritsa punishing him? His days were numbered. The chimera's life might have been over, he knew, disappointing the Archon was equivalent to death for some soldiers. Countless times, he had seen it. Was it his turn? The thoughts plagued his barley functioning mind.


Harder, he had to work harder, and become stronger. Dying in a place he did not wish to be, no way, there was simply no way that would happen. It had been evident to him, this was a warning, a warning of what was to come.


As the thoughts of torment again sputtered, his body swayed towards the uncomfortable bed before him. Blackness and silence beckoned him as his consciousness slipped. Home, he wanted to go home. Back to Mondstadt, back in time; anything. Anywhere away from his forced upon life. The final thoughts in his consciousness for the night invaded his mindscape as the blackness overtook him.


Anywhere was better than here.

Palamon

Has sent out Pikachu!

Age 25
he/him
Snezhnaya, Teyvat.
Seen 7 Hours Ago
Posted 1 Day Ago
7,320 posts
13.5 Years
Before chapter notes: this one is going to be awkward to read. I apologize. I wrote it very early & so it might feel out of place.

17. Muscle Memory Failing, and Bespectacled Vision

Upon awakening from his recent tormented slumber the late evening before, the chimera had been none the wiser. The various hours that had happened previously were nonexistent within Siorc's memory. The events of the Eleventh Harbinger escort had no longer been of any memory to the young budding soldier. Nothing of which had occurred in the inside or outside had been left in the chambers of the hyena's mind.

Raising from the bed within the barracks was a spotty sight to behold as the chimera's eyes adjusted to the morning before him. While his body had been adjusted to the waking world however, the eyes had not. Attempting to wake up fully, Siorc rubbed his eyes vigorously. The rubbing of vigor was of no help to him. The world before him had been especially fuzzy as the grogginess left the chimera's body. It had been a noteworthy pattern as of recent, the world of fuzz before him.

Squinting ever so slightly, the fuzziness within the morning world had decreased. The reduced visibility had been taxing for the soldier, but something, anything beyond the blockiness of the world before him had been enough. Surveying the area with his continued squint, the hyena could feel his bewilderment begin to feast on him as the area in front of his morning dazed mind. Everything about the room he had been unknowingly whisked away to had been unfamiliar to him. Nothing presented before him in his less visible eyes was something he was any the wiser to.

The steel walls in the room were especially puzzling to him. The walls of steel were an unfamiliar sight to behold. Nothing of the room he had been in had registered within the memory of Siorc's brain. Nothing whatsoever. The unfamiliar, foreign area awakened the uneasiness inside him. When had he been moved to the room he had currently been residing in? Absolutely no noteworthy memory had been within his mind.

As the squint continued, the hyena attempted with the best of his morning dazed effort to perform his usual routine. His efficiency reduced, albeit, as the dressing of his body had been a difficult task for the moment at hand. Many drowned thoughts of bewilderment and confusion continued as his routine had autopiloted. Thinking in the mornings in Snezhnaya soldier barracks were not unlimited, however.

The chimera could hear the clacking of Fatui Agent boots increasing in volume as he had finished his especially reduced ability to get ready for the morning had ended. Unwanted military work had been upon him as the footsteps continued with a militaristic diplomatic roar. Hearing the rather familiar sound of the loud heeled footsteps provided absolutely no comfort for the chimera. The desire to do any amount of work had left the body. He knew, however, laziness had not been an option. Any wasted moment in the frozen northern land would result in dangerous freezing.

When the volume of the footsteps had been reduced to zero, a sigh released from Siorc's throat. There was no more time, no more time to ponder about the unfamiliar situation before him. Awaiting his orders, the chimera halted his squint. The world of fuzziness that had engulfed him earlier returned immediately upon the squinting ceasing to be. Not even being awake would release him from the blocky world presented to his barely functioning eyes.

"Diplomatic Soldier Siorc," called out the Fatui Agent commandingly. "You have been assigned training today." The masked Agent made authoritative eye contact with the commander in arms. Another day, another workload.

When the barely visible Agent had spoken the chimera's duty for the day, Siorc could feel his heart skip a beat at the sound of training. He knew the state he had currently been in was certainly not one that would allow for him to use any weapon correctly or efficiently. Voicing such a complaint was not something he had been allowed the luxury of in his life forced upon the hyena, however. Allowing one more sigh to exit his throat, the chimera prepared for the blurred world of military training to begin. He could feel the ever smallest lump of fear form inside his partially human throat as work mode engulfed him.

"Yes, sir," he replied autonomously. The fear of handling weapons today had removed any amount of motivational drive inside the adolescent. But he knew, there was no choice. His work had been decided. The short young man had begun walking as his response had finished. Walking normally had become abnormal rather swiftly as the chimera could feel a foggy wall collide with his face with an evidently audible thud. "When did this wall get here?" He called out such in a barely visible stupor. The unfamiliar area in the barracks had only made the challenge before him increase.

The Agent rolled his eyes at such a pathetic sight before him. What was his subordinate doing? He never could fathom anything that may have been on the young man's mind.

"Stop fooling around, soldier! We have to go!" he cried out. "Her Majesty does not condone tardiness, let's get a move on!" The Fatui Agent gripped the Chimera's arm tightly like a ring that had become stuck on a finger with age.

Gripping prison had always won the battle during the chimera's various escorts.

***

The training grounds being a familiar sight did not allow any easing feelings within Siorc's mind. Every subordinate before him still had been barely visible to him, despite the familiarity of everything presented before him. The uncertainty of whether he could perform his training duties for the day continued to consume him as the seconds inexorably raged on. The chimera gulped as the ever approaching announcement to begin the training loomed above his head. Any moment now, the Harbinger he knew all too well would speak. Wracking his brain on what to do one last time as the seconds to such arrival were imminent, he came to only one conclusion, and one conclusion alone.

Muscle memory was his only option today. The only way he would be able to appear normal and useful. As soon as such thought had ended, the familiar sound of the Sixth Harbinger's maliciousness sounded. There had no longer been time to think. Action was becoming of him now.

"What are you all, lazy and stupid? Start training," the Sixth Harbinger said with an extremely malicious tone in his voice. Berating those under him was his favorite pastime.

Upon the order being unleashed, Siorc darted towards the weapons with reliant muscle memory guiding him. Picking up a beginner's weapon, he prepared himself for training against his subordinates in light combat. Upon finding his usual practice partner, however, something of immediate realization had spurred upon him. The continued feeling of unease devoured the chimera further as the realization solidified. The weapon he had picked was not one that was familiar to him. The spotty weapon before his damaged eyes eluded him. It was not the claymore he had been used to. Uneasiness had swallowed the chimera whole. Nothing at all would be able to convince him he would be able to perform normally today.

Muscle memory was a failure, indeed.

Fear continuously roaring inside the chimera's body. The roar of such fear numbing the outside feelings of his partner in arms tapping him lightly. No amount of outside exposure to even the cold wind could be felt by the hyena. Staying still any longer would only shorten his life, such was the reality of the harsh permafrost area. Trying to not allow the fear to win, Siorc returned to the reality before him. Muscle memory failing or not, dawdling was no longer an option. After seconds of being lost, the tap of his training partner registered within his body. The chimera turned obediently as the fuzzy figure before him had begun to speak.

"A Polearm today?" his training partner asked. "That's a little unusual for you, Ingne." His partner attempted to hide his concern with a laugh, but the tone would not halter the pitch of the worry.

Siorc blinked at the sound of the word polearm. His worst weapon type, the weapon he had the least ability to control. It had been too late at the point in time to figure out a way to appear normal. He pondered if his training partner knew, knew if everything for him had been out of the ordinary today. Although time was limited, he had to cork the pondering.

"Yes," he replied autonomously. "A Polearm today..." He could feel his voice trailing off as the increasingly difficult to focus on weapon in front of him plagued him. Reflexes were dead upon arrival.

His practice partner shrugged in indifference at such remark. "Well, okay, Ingne. I have my bow ready, so you know what to do."

The practice partner fastened his bow with diligence. Knowing his partner had good reflexes, he could feel a wave of confidence emanate throughout his generic body. Releasing the arrow with his left hand, it had begun its travel within close proximity of the chimera target before him. He had full expectations of the many beautiful dodges he had seen the hyena do in prior training. Such beauty was of no occurrence today.

As the arrows had travelled with extreme fuzziness towards the young soldier, panic continued its feast. Not having his skillful claymore on hand to deflect the arrows, the ranged weapons inched closer. There had been no ability whatsoever to avoid the incoming collision before him. As the travelling of the arrows had ended, the chimera could feel the metal tips of the arrows pierce him in the bones one after another. An almost labored scream broke from his throat as the arrows familiarized themselves with his currently human arm. Barely visible red liquid flowed as the collision of the weapons permeated themselves firmly into his skin. Dizziness soon ate the chimera readily as the situation before him spiraled. His knees met the ground haphazardly as the red raged on all unfocused.

"Ingne!" his practice partner cried out, tone wracked with worry. He had not anticipated such an outcome to happen. His practice partner's reflexes were usually rather sharp. But there had been no time to dawdle. His subordinate had been injured greatly. "Ingne, are you alright? You're bleeding!" He knew something had been off about his partner today, but it had been too late. The scene before him had begun playing out as unexpected.

Voices had begun to muddy within the vicinity of his chimera ears as the red pool quietly continued. In such a state as this, no words could be mustered by the weakened soldier. Try as he might, no words of any sort could be spoken from Siorc's throat. Every word failed him repeatedly. Nothing could come out of his lips. Nothing of today had been going right, nothing. Everything was wrong, everything. Pain continued to intensify as the failure before him completely overtook the young soldier's mind. Both the weapon and the accompanying failure stung to the highest level of extremity.

The voices continued to muddy before him as the familiar sound of the Harbinger in charge slowly reached the clouded eardrums.

"So you're blind and stupid?" exclaimed the Sixth Harbinger in a demeaning tone. "How rich!" A laugh erupted uproariously from the small purple figure from afar.

The fuzziness of everything continued worsening upon the muddied laughter of the Sixth Harbinger. Everything, almost everything had now been nothing more than colors and figures. Focusing had become near impossible for the soldier at this point in time. He had wondered if such had been accelerated by the events that had been occurring. Siorc, however, could feel the thoughts weaken inside him swiftly. The figures and colors removed any focus he could have. Almost all feeling had been removed. No signals were working, he was like a broken mechanical puppet with the strings ripped apart. The feeling of the grip of his partner did not register, either. Nothing, no feeling, there was nothing.

"I'm taking you to the medic, Ingne," replied his practice partner. A tight, but worried grip held the chimera up. The words were still muddied within the ears of the near gone soldier. "I'll help you walk." The practice partner attempted with a struggled breath to support the secondary weight added to him. Helping another partially human person walk was a feat the generic man never expected to come by.

***

The medical office had been nothing more than colors and figures to the chimera. Following orders had nearly eluded Siorc as every word spoken to him had begun to get quieter within his eardrums. Despite the deluded focus, and lowered sound quality within his dormant shark brain, the soldier tried within the last remaining edges to remain obedient.

All amount of feeling had been removed still as the blob of a doctor performed first aid. No feeling of the blood dissipating from the injury being attended to registered. The bandage entangling itself with the at present human arm did not exhibit as a feeling within him, either. Everything was gone. His words did not work, his eyes were failing him, sound and feeling were absent.

"All finished," the medic softly spoke upon wrapping the last bandage. "Are there any other services you require?"

As the treating of the injury had finished, his training partner's fuzzy hand tapped the shoulder of the not presently injured arm. Observing the chimera all day, the training partner had come to the ultimate conclusion that had become rather impossible to ignore. Not being able to dodge arrows was not like his practice combatant in arms at all. Taking a deep breath, the lesser Fatui spoke diligently.

"I think he's having problems seeing," he said with a matter of fact tone in his voice. "My practice partner never has a problem dodging my arrows." A sigh broke the soldier's throat. "I suspect he could not see them coming his way."

The medic listened to the testimony of the soldier before them diligently. "Ah, glasses, then, that is no problem." The Medic turned their attention to the dazed chimera in question as they spoke to the subordinate. "May I ask how long these episodes have been occurring, sir?"

Upon hearing the muddied question, Siorc attempted with any amount of strength that may have been left inside him to respond. He could feel faint words escape his throat, but barely, as the continued feelings of nothing engulfed the body.

"A...awhile," he weakly replied. Only one word had been able to escape his lips. His partially human brain, surely the muddiness had been inside there, as well, poking the shark grooves inside ever so sharply.

"Then I will be just a moment," the medic responded immediately. "I will be right back." The medic stepped out into a room behind them swiftly, but with professionalism. Upon the return of the medic, a thick pair of glasses had been equipped in their hands. The medic placed the tools of vision correction onto the chimera's face. While they did not know if they were the right ones, they would have to do for now. "How are they? Can you see?" The medic placed a small mirror in front of the patient before them.

As the blobs of fuzz dissipated into normalcy, all Siorc could do was nod. If the fogginess from the ordeal hadn't still been visible, the chimera knew tears would be shed. The shapes and colors were no longer such. Everything that was gone within his damaged eyes had returned. The medical room, and all the equipment was finally ever present within his field of previously gone vision. The mismatched color of his eyes, and his practice partner as well. All of it; everything had no longer been blobs of fuzz. The glass in front of his eyes was quite the splendorous invention.

He knew, however. The return of the ability of his vision, the Doctor's experiments would continue to worsen.

No moment of joy within his life could ever last.