Lover's Curse Chapter Seventeen - Queen of War
I’m insane. I’m crumbling to bits and he’s putting me back together, piece by painful piece. A healer of destruction. A monster of kindness.
He’s remaking me in his own image.
I stagger through the corridor, electricity scorching my bones. I still see him. He’s still sprawled across my bed, eyes to the ceiling as I brand him as he did me. Muttering deserve this, deserve this over and over again until I stop.
Maven has no sense of restraint. No sense of reason. He would have stayed there as long as I let him. Would have thanked me afterwards.
My knees give out, and I slide down the wall, huddling on the floor. You can be. I won’t stop loving you.
I hyperventilate, vision blurring to tears. He thinks this is romance. That I enjoy this in the same way he does.
A part of me does. A part of me wants to watch him writhe in agony, too ashamed to make me stop. A part of me wants him to know how it felt at Harbor Bay, trapped by a merciless lover, isolated from all who could help him.
I shouldn’t indulge that part of me. That part of me would rip the world asunder with her spite. That part of me revels in excess.
The rest of me is sane. The rest of me understands his game. The rest of me has control of my emotions.
I won’t let it be otherwise.
“I’ve composed several drafts for you to review.” I slide the papers from his desk to his hands. “I’ll need a few more days to perfect her handwriting, but I can mimic her cadence well enough. I hope you enjoy them. Those insults weren’t easy.”
“Lovely.” Maven folds his arms. “Please get out of my chair.”
“I was here first. If you wanted it so badly, you should’ve been sitting in it.”
“You’re right.” Maven hovers in front of me. “Move over.”
I blink. “What?”
“I’ll share the seat with you. Move over.” He’s smirking. “Do you not want it anymore?”
This is stupid. “Fine.” I scoot over, wedging myself against the left arm. “You wanna sit? Sit.”
He hesitates for a few seconds before nestling beside me, tense and uncomfortably warm. “We don’t fit.”
“‘Then get up.”
“You get up.”
“Excuse me.” An attendant pokes a head through the door, brow furrowing. “Your Majesty?”
Maven stills. I point. “His idea.”
He surrenders, grey creeping up his neck. I spread across my newly conquered territory, savoring the plush cushion, the regal frame, the rich mahogany. “My chair.”
The attendant bows, speaking in rushed, uneven sentences. “The guards apprehended a nymph at the gates. She has demanded an audience with you. Should I--”
“Bring her in.”
I sweep the drafts into the garbage, heart racing. He frowns. “You want Iris to know about them?”
Before Maven can respond, the doors swing open. Arvens may surround Iris, but they cannot keep her contained. Mud streaks her skin, dress torn to shreds, hair sticky with blood. Whose, I never want to know.
“They killed him.” Iris’s voice used to be lilting and melodic, like a folk song caught on a breeze. Now, she sounds like a graveyard. Dull. Grey. Lifeless. “I gave them my floods, and they killed him.”
“Wife. So glad you could join us.” Maven’s eyes dance with mirth. “Did you have fun?”
“Father is dead.” Iris punches a wall. “I will destroy them.”
“I’ll take that as a no. Shame.”
“What is she doing here?” Iris jabs a finger my direction. No longer does she eye me with coy amusement. She never will again. “Do we allow prisoners out of their chains now?”
“Her name is Mare, darling. Use it.” Maven crumples a piece of paper and places it near his flamemakers. “Your mother could learn that the Scarlet Guard killed her husband and her daughter. All the better for me.”
“I’ll destroy you too.”
“I’m sure you will.” Maven leans against my chair, brushing aside my hair to stroke my neck. Her gaze burns holes into us both.
“She’s Scarlet Guard. She’d tear our throats without a moment’s hesitation. I forgot that.” Iris stares at the floor as if it could swallow her whole. “I’ve half a mind to execute her.”
He sharpens. “You’ve half a mind, period. She’s my consort now, and you will treat her with respect. Find a guard to play with.”
“I didn’t give permission for a consort.”
“I didn’t ask.”
I squirm. “Do I have a say in this . . . ?”
“No.” Iris narrows her eyes. “Why are you in Maven’s chair?”
“It’s my chair. I fought him for it.”
Maven rubs his forehead. “Don’t ask.”
“Find a use for her, or I will make one.” Iris has no tendrils to curl, but somehow she seems more dangerous without them. “Her head would make a lovely present for Mother.”
Another death threat. They’re beginning to bore me.
“So short-sighted.” He tsks. “You think I haven’t? Think of the narrative. An impoverished Red with Silver abilities, groomed by the Scarlet Guard to kill a king and brainwash another. Rebelling against her commanders once she learned of their evil, she sits at my side for months, friendship giving way to something more. What a beautiful tale.”
I knew this was coming.
It still hurts.
“A boy forced onto the throne too soon, soft-spoken and compassionate, committed to righting the injustices of his ancestors.” Kill me. “Measures lifted. A war ended. And when he falls for a Red, she is declared the equal of any Silver mistress.”
“The manacles are a rite of passage, I’m sure.” I scowl.
Maven ignores me. “This is a propaganda war, Wife. Reds outnumber us, and we cannot allow them to be lured by the Scarlet Guard.”
“Very well.” Her tone is placid. Her expression is not. “Keep her out of my sight. I have limits. Push them at your peril.”
“So do I, Wife.” He ignites the parchment. “So do I.”
Maven slithers beside me, eyes wicked. “Was there something you wanted to do in this chair?”
“You can have it.” I pat his head.
He doesn’t see me fish the letter from the trash. He doesn’t see it as I walk out the room, handing it to a nearby attendant for mailing. And he never read the final paragraph, scrawled hastily as if in a panic.
I pray to Amalese for Father’s safe return. Perhaps a vengeance goddess is the worst to ask, but she understands justice better than anyone else. Far better than my husband.
I miss you.
There is no god named Amalese.
There is no god of vengeance.
But there are justices Iris would ask for. Ones that do not end well for Maven.
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Howdy, Nero! You’ve reached all the requirements necessary to rank up to Subgiant! As a reward, you’ll be given your Red Queen, though it will have no abilities at this time.
It begins a morning like no other. His alarm going off, a snort as his dream is abruptly cut short, and eyes that open to a fine layer of sleep that is promptly wiped away with a rub before he rolls over to shut off his alarm. He lies in bed, stares at the ceiling, debates what he’s going to do today, and at last, flips out of bed to go take a shower.
He thinks it a joke at first, when he walks out of the bedroom and sees the giant case that wasn’t there before. It takes up the entirety of the dining room table-- adding insult to injury that whoever placed it there took pains to make sure it was left on top of all his work in progress blueprints.
Blueprints that, ironically enough, detail the process by which he intends to rebuild his weapons. The same weapon that now sits in front of him, like a tantalizing ( and confusing ) early Christmas gift. He practically lunges for it, fingers quick to snap open the clasps of the case, so eager to get it open that he doesn’t even bother to go back to the bedroom to attach his prosthetic first.
If he leaves the room, after all, who’s to say that when he turns back around, she’ll still be there?
So this is what they meant, he realizes, by the Stars arbitrarily returning the things they took in due time. Nero pushes open the lid of the case, and there she is-- Red Queen, his beloved sword, disassembled and waiting in the case’s padding as though they had never been parted. “Yearning for my touch,” he mutters under his breath, thinking of her, Kyrie, and the way she looks at this sword as fondly as he does.
The natural next step is to reassemble the pieces, to tediously inspect each individual part to make sure nothing has been tampered with. Everything looks to be in pristine condition-- he won’t test the fuel expulsion mechanism inside the house, but the thought makes him want to skip a shower entirely and head outside like an excited school child to give her a spin.
“Thanks for nothing, assholes,” he says to no one in particular, no one but the Stars who could potentially be watching, “Just keep underestimating me. We’ll see where that gets ya.”
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Toons who could be siblings in the same way Mickey and Oswald are because they were created/animated by the same guy
I’m obsessed with toons, that’s plain to see for anyone who goes through my posts. I’m also obsessed with learning about the hands and the geniuses behind my favourite toons. I’ve loved Mickey and Oswald since I found out about them 8 years ago and I LOVE the toon headcanons where their creators are basically the toons’ father like Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks to Mickey and Oswald. So here’s a list of cartoon characters who share the same creator/animator:
Betty Boop and Snow White
Both these lovely ladies were designed and animated by Grim Natwick.
2. Daffy Duck and Red Hot Riding Hood
Tex Avery is credited both with the creation of these two. Guess that means Daffy’s related to Droopy too huh.
3. Porky Pig and Pink Panther
Both are creations of Friz Freleng
4. Bugs Bunny and Woody Woodpecker
Ben “Bugs” Hardaway is the creator of both Bugs Bunny and Woody Woodpecker. He created Bugs’ prototype and later became the namesake for this lovable hare. If I recall this correctly, early Woody’s laugh sounded a lot like early 40′s Bugs Bunny’s laugh. I pin Mel Blanc solely on that one.
5. Tom and Jerry and Huckleberry Hound (or basically all the toons from Hanna-Barbera Studios)
All characters involved are creations of William Hanna and Joseph Barbera (damn that’s a lot of siblings)
6. Mickey Mouse and Gabby Goat
(Precious, are you telling me this mouse has ANOTHER BROTHER???) Yes. You wanna know what makes it funnier.
He’s a Looney Tune.
Ub Iwerks worked at Warner Bros for a short bit, working on Porky Pig cartoons. While there, he and Bob Clampett made a character to be the Donald to Porky’s Mickey. Literally. He’s a very grumpy goat.
BONUS: 7. Goofy and The Evil Queen
Not gonna lie, I straight up fangirled like crazy when I found out Art Babbitt designed and animated the both of them. Like my soul nearly left my body. He was the main animator behind both of them!!!
Anyhoo, better stop fangirling over Art Babbitt and finally post this. Feel free to add anything in the reblogs.
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more ‘ sao will not shut up about isolde ’ babbles , this time regarding her parents !
i write isolde as being the only daughter to a single mother , who had her quite young. it was an unplanned pregnancy , which is why ( along with being 18 / 19 ) her father left as soon as he found out. a lot of friends of isoldes mother encouraged her to get rid of the baby , for having a child outside of married ( not to mention so young ) was frowned upon. however , obviously , such wasn’t the case && her mother decided that she could raise a child alone. due to being a young single mother , naturally the two were looked down on from the get–go ; but even so , isoldes mother was determined to make her daughter's life a blessing.
it was a struggle , but isolde was raised in a very loving household. she was the apple of her mother's eye , raised with kindness && gentleness. isolde has a lot of memories of her childhood that she looks on fondly , most of which ( if not all ) involve her mother in one way or another. it isn’t to say they didn’t struggle because they certainly did , there were a lot of times either her mother or both of them went to bed on an empty stomach — or were threatened to be kicked out on the streets should their money not be paid in full. it was stressful && as many good memories as isolde has , she also has many of hearing her mother cry at night or seeing her with exhausted eyes behind her smile. yet , what struck isolde most , is that no matter what ; her mother was always smiling , never did she allude to anything beneath the surface. a bad trait isolde picked up at a very young age.
her father on the other hand , ( a stranger to isolde ) went on to live a rather comfortable life. he married later in his mid twenties && had a son in his late twenties , working a job that paid well. he was , for the most part , a kind man ; albeit one who was stubborn , one who could pack a mean punch if pushed too far. it is such traits that isolde picked up , her stubbornness && her bite ( when SEVERELY provoked ) stem from her father && not her mother who was as gentle as could be. he knows he has another child out there , but not anything about them — just as isolde knows she has a father , but not who he is.
it is likely they are made aware of each other ( or at least he is of her ) come the day of her wedding , which undoubted was a big event in the kingdom. odds are her father recognised her mother && pieces the puzzle together , that obviously the woman she walked down the isle was her daughter ; was his daughter. his daughter now the queen of the kingdom.
i don’t know if i want them to ever interact , but if they do then odds are it is a couple months after her marriage to viego — not long after her mother passed from her terminal illness. it ... likely isn’t a good meeting , with isolde ( for once in her life ) coming across very defensive && hostile. obviously she knows her father fled , never returned , left her own mother to barely get by , never cared enough to see his own child && decides to return JUST after she loses her mother ( her best friend ) so she has ever right to be argumentative towards him. he likely only wished to try get back into her life given her title of royalty && her marriage to the king , not out of genuine wanting to get to know his daughter. plus , as soft as isolde is && as selfless as she may be ... never ever will she allow someone to walk over her , someone she cares about or a stranger for that matter (: she will bite.
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