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Intense Therapy, Unpleasant Dreams (18+) : Chat Log

magiciaprime 2 edit end your grief-5d43bd37
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(Warning: Contains strong language and non-graphic sexual content)

The Prince of Nihilheim was wrought with an internal struggle. As he grew tired and desperate, he turned to the one most qualified to ease him of his pain – the Nightmare Dancer, Magicia. Through this intense therapy, they both had a chance to grow stronger… if they didn’t break first. 


Archibald Cheshire, Prince of Nihilheim.

The study of the Prince was in ruin. Cheshire stood the tattered remains of reports and the clawed wood of the desk that once held everything. He was angry, his eyes nearly fogged over in his rage. “I don’t care… i shouldn’t care…” He muttered, lifting up a piece of paper. A report from the scouts of the state of Twine. “I shouldn’t care, so why? Why do i?” He muttered, casting the report into the flames of the fireplace. “What have they done for me? What have any of them done for me? The calming magics? More attachments to those ungrateful worms? How many lives have I given for them and for what? To be still considered a joke?” His sneer grew, those flames rising with his anger. A lash of anger, Cheshire grabbed the desk and tossed that into the fireplace as well. “So why? Why do I feel the need to rush to their aid? To their defense?”

Magicia Valencia

Meanwhile, a familiar energy had silently made its way through the dark kingdom, as it partook of very small portions – so small they couldn’t be noticed – of some life essences while the people slept. Though there was a reason it fed in Nihilheim this night, instead of anywhere else: It was a good excuse. For what? That would remain to be seen. However, as the prince’s inner turmoil tormented him, it would catch her attention. Perfect. Thus, the purple mist would make its way to the palace, letting itself into the study where it would quietly manifest into Magicia, perched on the edge of the desk with one leg crossed over the other. Rather than her Valencia suit, she was decked out in a gothic lolita dress – black and purple frills, fishnet floral tights, and huge leather boots. Instead of her usual smirk, her expression was ponderous. “Pardon me…” She called for his attention. “I know it’s improper of me to pop in like this, but I was in the neighborhood, and I could sense quite a bit of foul energy from here. I was concerned.” 

Archibald Cheshire, Prince of Nihilheim.

As always, Cheshire was dressed in the regal gothic style. His attire a combination of reds and blacks and silvers. As he sensed Magicia approach, he prepared himself for the jokes. The mighty Cheshire, Lord of the mad and prince of the void touched flustered in such a way? His body tightened in preparation for the jokes, yet, there were no jokes. As she finished her sentence, his shoulders dropped. “This place is filled with it, Magicia.” He commented, the fire gone from his voice. “This is, after all, the city of the void. What else would there be?” He chuckled, stepping back and giving a tired flop into his large chair. He was clearly tired.

Magicia Valencia

“It isn’t this kingdom, though, is it? It’s you.” She tilted her head, her expression becoming more worried. “You’re exhausted. You’re troubled. It’s pretty evident. Well, to me at least. Even when laughing about being torn in half the other night at the inn, you still had that feeling about you. How am I supposed to enjoy myself knowing my friend is this moody?” Her brow arched to show a hint of annoyance. “I was hoping at this point you’d come to like me enough to trust me if something was bothering you. I haven’t been keen on befriending just anyone since my return.” 

Archibald Cheshire, Prince of Nihilheim.

“Friend…” The word sounded almost like he’d just rediscovered it after centuries of forgetfulness. Still, the woman had a point. “I suppose i’ve simply gotten used to dealing with these things on my own.” He stated, picking up a few pieces of paper. “Reports from my scouts of twine.” In a quick motion he tossed them into the fire. “Seems the place is completely destroyed. What’s worse? Kida is awake and i’ve yet to receive any official notice or letter stating that she is fine or what the plan is for taking it back. The problem? I shouldn’t care, but I do.  I am constantly wracked with fear and the sense of failure, despite my status as former guardian I still feel the compulsion to act. The desire to save this putrid planet when i don’t want to.”

Magicia Valencia

It seemed her suspicions were now confirmed, between this and the conversation from the night prior. She sighed and shook her head, slipping off the desk and approaching him, only to slip behind his chair to lean over the back of it. “Sounds serious. An obligation in spite of being treated like a last minute thought. A simple tool in a game of gods. You’re chained to a realm you shouldn’t be bound to.” She paused, as if in thought, before leaning in and murmuring in his ear with a smirk. “I just had an idea. What if there was a way to help you break that chain… and what if I could help you? Hmm? To repay you for your help with my little memory loss, and for providing me such a nice place to regain my strength.” 

Archibald Cheshire, Prince of Nihilheim.

He gave a heavy sigh. “There’s no point. I’m…” Wait a second… those thoughts were turning in his head. He’d always stated that Mag’s powers were the only one comparable to his. However, she didnt work in illusions and mind as he did. Perhaps. He sat up, a curious if not suspicious look on his face as his eyes shot towards her. “What exactly did you have in mind, lady of nightmares?” It was worth a shot. A chance to be free? To be unbound without having to die? To break more seals? It sounded wonderful.

Magicia Valencia

She had his interest. That was a start. Magicia leaned back again and casually played with a strand of her hair. “Well, I don’t know how familiar you are with my particular powers, but one thing I can do is not only freely roam in a mindscape, but also help alter it. Usually I do so to feed off of life essences, but… what if I tried to feed on something else instead? Say, I tracked down your worries about that little island and just…” She let go of the hair to make a gesture with her hand; one to represent jaws biting down. “Crunch. Devoured it? Chomp chomp. No more giving a fuck!” 

Archibald Cheshire, Prince of Nihilheim.

He cocked an eyebrow at the woman as she made the motion. How strange this was to see it from the outside. Normally he was the one making such offers, albeit, with less comedy nowadays. Even still, Cheshire began to understand a bit of the differences in their abilities. At least, in how they worked. “Are you sure you want to enter the domain of my mind?” He said with a slight tease. “I wouldn’t want you thinking less of me, or worse, to give you any nightmares.”

Magicia Valencia

A laugh erupted from her as she stepped back a bit, clutching her sides. “Ahahaha! Oh my… that was a good one… wait, were you serious?” She tried to regain her composure, still snickering a bit. “Cheshy, I’m not going to go off listing all the traumatic experiences I’ve already endured. Instead, let me remind you that I am the Nightmare Dancer. The Daughter of Fear. Primordial in training. I don’t know how crazy your mind is, but even if it’s somehow worse than anything I’ve ever known before, I am not afraid of facing it. What doesn’t break me will make me stronger.” Ah there it was. What she had to gain from it. A piece of his mind would not only let her help her friend… it would give her a power boost, if she survived the ordeal. “And of course, unless there’s something pretty personal in there in regards to me… could I think less of you? Any less than I do of this miserable multiverse?” 

Archibald Cheshire, Prince of Nihilheim.

“Well there is the crush that i had on you back in highschool… and that embarrassing dream of me giving an oral presentation only to find myself in my pants.” He gave a sigh, leaning back in his chair and closing his eyes. Why not? He was out of options and almost out of time. Any longer and he feared that he would do something drastic. “Fine…” He muttered. “Just be warned, youre going to hear voices, youre going to see my dead, and for the love of Siclides, whatever you do, dont fuck with the seals…” 

Magicia Valencia

Wow, that was easier than she thought it’d be. Though something he said made her brow twitch just ever so slightly… but she wouldn’t linger on it. Instead she slipped back around to be in front of him, folding her hands behind her back. “I am not sure what seals you speak of. I can’t necessarily promise that I won’t accidentally affect them if I do this, though. I can try, at least.” For all she knew, he was talking about some cute cuddly sea creatures that guarded his most embarrassing thoughts. “Alright, so we have a deal then. I’ll go in, pinpoint the cause of your concerns, and remove it? I get a meal, you get some relief. And probably a headache and severe nausea afterwards, not gonna lie. You ready?” 

Archibald Cheshire, Prince of Nihilheim.

He gave one last sigh. Was he ready? Was she ready? This was his final chance to back out. To keep what few attachments he had left. “Do it.”

Magicia Valencia

Magicia nodded, moving to sit on the desk once more. With his consent, she was ready for the possible challenge. Hell, the thought of a mindscape that could actually prove a risk to her? That excited her. “Very well. Let’s not waste any time, then. Just try to relax…” With that, she closed her eyes, focusing on her oldest and most powerful magic. Her spirit left her body, causing her to fall back across the desk, and quickly drifted to his head as that purple mist, seeping into the flesh to enter his mind. 

Archibald Cheshire, Prince of Nihilheim.

As she entered his mind she would feel a pull. Not just that of an open mind but almost as if something were pulling her in, calling to her. His mindscape at first was a shattered thing. Magicia would find herself floating through space with shards of glass, each one playing memories, conversations, some looking as though they were once broken and pieced back together, others so small that they couldn’t be made out and screamed for completion. It wasn’t till the end of her journey though, that she would find the pull increasing. Sucking her in like a massive tidal whirlpool drawing her through what looked to be a broken gate that hung in the space. A sense of anguished glee. Of longing for freedom. Something was directing her, pulling her into the gate with the sadistic pleasure of the monster that had finally found its way out of the closet.

Magicia Valencia

One detail of this experience, that Chesh would perhaps not ever know the significance of, was the form Magicia took as she entered the dream. Before, her dreamwalking form was a pure innocent entity that captured what she looked like before she had first realized her own power. Yet now, she looked exactly like her current form. A change caused by her splitting and return. Regardless, she was pulled through the mindscape, like drifting through river rapids. Normally, she would fight that rush – push to regain control. Yet she didn’t wish to dawdle on insignificant portions of his mind. Not when what she probably sought was so eager to have her. So instead, she simply let herself drift closer to the source and pass through the gate. “My my.. what is it about you that can’t wait to see me, I wonder?” 

Archibald Cheshire, Prince of Nihilheim.

Into darkness, into the deep. “Down the Rabbit Hole Alice Went…” The voices whispered all around her, the black consuming her before giving way to a simple hall. “How ever will you get back out?” The walls, floor and ceiling seeming to come from the eternal void and piecing themselves together again. Different doors with slots to look through them. Different memories, places, people, The battle of Ar’elis against the abominations, the snack war, Cheshire coming home to find most of his meat cellar emptied by maids. Some of battle with people that Mags had never met, scenes of lust, love, and violence. “How will you find whatever it is you seek?” That deep voice coming from the door at the end of the hallway, opening just ever so slightly to shine some light into the hall. “Thats it… closer… closer… come and see, come and see…”

Magicia Valencia

“Curiouser and curiouser,” she murmured as she made her way through the hall, playing along with the Alice idea, but also expressing her actual curiosity. It was rare she encountered a mind that was so strong and pulled the strings in her place. Yet this was Chesh. It was to be expected, she supposed. She peeked through the doors, though she certainly refrained from lingering. Especially with the more X rated content. Finally, she got to that last door on the end, peeking her head slowly inside. 

Archibald Cheshire, Prince of Nihilheim.

The room looked to be like a doctors office. Wide walls that were painted a sterile white with metal filing cabinets that lined them. A large window at the back with sunlight shining through and flooding the place with natural lighting. Outside could be seen green trees swaying in the breeze, a courtyard down below in which people in white clothing stumbled around. Some sat while others trudged around in circles. The greatest shock, if there was any, would be the man sitting at the desk. Mearo. Dressed in a fine button up with white coat on, a name badge lingering off of his pocket that spoke of his title. “Dr.Valencia” He seemed to be typing something on a laptop before his eyes caught the figure of Mags standing at the door. “Ms. Parafrosyni, is something wrong?” He asked, a genuine tone of concern in his voice. “Its activity time, Maggy, why don’t you go watch T.V. or do a puzzle with the others?” 

Magicia Valencia

“…” She actually stopped right in her tracks, caught off guard by this. She was supposed to be in Chesh’s mind. Why was her father here? Why were they referring to her by such names? … No. A moment to think made it clear. Of course his mind could easily be trying to probe hers in return. This wasn’t going to be a simple trip to grab a snack. She’d have to play the game and survive to win. So she relaxed her shoulders, taking in the scene. The sterile setting. The doctors. The specific words from this pseudo Mearo. Was this a mental ward of some sort? How suitable. “Sorry, doc. I must have gotten distracted. And lost. Where do I go again?” She looked down, trying to ignore the image of her outfit slowly trying to change into a hospital gown. Focus, Mags. 

Archibald Cheshire, Prince of Nihilheim.

He gave a small hum, approaching her slowly and removing a small flashlight pen from his pocket. “Must be the side effects of the new meds.” He commented to himself, leaning down and flashing a light in her eyes, examining for reaction. “How have you been feeling, Ms. Parafrosyni? Any more dreams? Lapses in reality?” He clicked the light off and motioned for her to follow. There was no reason why he couldn’t check up on her while he escorted her to the common area. “When last we talked you said that you felt broken. Not like yourself. You were having problems remembering your name?”

Magicia Valencia

… This fucker. She weighed her options for response carefully. Too direct with the sane approach, and she’d probably be treated as a liar. But if she played the loopy card too much, she’d be setting herself up for trouble. “I’m not sure. Sometimes I think it’s a dream, but it’s weird. Like I’m waking up over and over.” She followed. “But I am broken, doc. That’s why I’m here, right?” 

Archibald Cheshire, Prince of Nihilheim.

“I don’t like to use the term ‘broken’ when referring to my patients.” He commented, leading her down a long and just as beautifully lit hall as his office had been. A few individuals wandering. Some that she might remember, others maybe not. “Sick also sounds harsh. Unwell, perhaps, might be the best term. But yes, you are here to get better and I’m glad that the meds are working to some degree.” The common area was a large area with many tables, couches, and other such niceties. Familiar faces were abound here. Helve sat huddled in the corner muttering something about pizza and crucifixion while Tsubame sat by himself reading old war novels. Even Cheshire was there, taking on the boyish look of his previous face. Staring blankly at the television whilst it played the disney animated version of Alice in Wonderland. “The feelings will pass in time, just continue taking the medications and keep going to your therapy and I’m sure in time we’ll be able to discharge you with a clean bill of health.” Mearo nodded with a warm smile. “Now, try to behave with the other patients and we’ll see about letting you back into the library.” He gave her a nod and left, returning to his office.

Magicia Valencia

“Okay, doc.” She waited until his back was turned before rolling her eyes, stepping over towards where Chesh was sitting. Behaving was going to be difficult when there was a vision of her ex here. Yet she knew she had to keep on track. It was just that. A vision. A fragment of her mind fished up to try to distract her. She reached Chesh, rocking back and forth on her heels. “Can I sit with you?” Great, her look had now adjusted to the setting so she fit the part of mental patient. That was annoying. 

Archibald Cheshire, Prince of Nihilheim.

Cheshire looked up to Mags with a dead stare before his eyes went wide. “Uh… y-y-yeah, sure!” He stuttered like a 12yr old who’d just seen his first pair of boobies in a rated R film. Sliding over to the side and moving all of his paraphernalia.  Everything was Alice in Wonderland related. From the book, to the coloring pages that had been meticulously colored to get the colors right to the stuffed mad hatter doll that he clung onto. Any charm of suave that he had in the real world gone and replaced by this man child sitting there on the couch. His green eyes flickering from her to the television. His heart pounding in his chest so hard you could see it through his shirt. He was trying his best to control his breathing, to steady himself, compose himself. Instead, he picked up the cheap top hat that he had on the other side of the couch and placed it on his head, doing his best to almost hide himself in his shyness. “A girl is sitting next to us, hatty…” He whispered into the doll’s ear. “What should we do?”

Magicia Valencia

Oh boy, this was going to be interesting. She sat down next to him, crossing her legs and tilting her head in a playful manner. “Hatty, tell him he should give me his snacks. Like, all of them.” She laughed at herself, before her expression soured a bit. “You don’t remember me, do you? We’ve played together before.” 

Archibald Cheshire, Prince of Nihilheim.

“No, we remember…” He muttered. “You helped us save the world and then we got to play with the maids for a bit…” His eyes looked down to the floor. “But then you left… and then we didn’t have anyone. So we tried to make our own place… but it didn’t work and we still ended up here alone…” He took a deep breath, reaching over the couch and handing her a half full bag of Pepperidge Farm Milano’s. “There’s not much left but… i don’t mind sharing. Hatty says that tea and cookies are always better when they’re with friends.”

Magicia Valencia

Something clicked for her. What Dr. Valencia… no, what pseudo Mearo was talking about before. It wasn’t some random list of symptoms. It was what she’d been going through when she first met up with Chesh as “Her.” Of course. How could she be so stupid? “Thank you, Cheshy. I actually wasn’t gonna take all your snacks. This time. Because Hatty’s right. That’s the fun of tea parties. As long as there’s room.” She bit into the cookie, talking through a mouth full of chocolate goodness. “I’m sorry I left. And I’m sorry you were alone. I didn’t mean to hurt your feelings.” She swallowed before continuing. “But you’re not alone here anymore. I want to be your friend again.” 

Archibald Cheshire, Prince of Nihilheim.

“It’s okay, everyone leaves eventually…” He muttered, eyes locking back onto the television and going quiet again.

Magicia Valencia

“… Even you.” She didn’t like him turning away. She tried to gently tug the sleeve of his shirt, not wanting to be too harsh if she could help it. Last thing she needed was someone accusing her of not playing nice. “As in I’m going to get you out of here. Let’s break out. It’ll be fun! Right, Hatty?” She glared at the doll, expecting it to maybe actually come to life and tell Chesh to get his shit together. 

Archibald Cheshire, Prince of Nihilheim.

Break out? “Oh nonononono” He shook his head. “We can’t do that. He’ll get mad. The last time we tried to break out he got mad, remember? I remember, it wasnt fun. They took me to the dark place…” He shuttered again before turning and grabbing hold of her sleeves. “But YOU can break out! You arent trapped here like the rest of us, like the rest of me! Listen. Listen!” He turned his head around, the orderlies were already approaching. “You can escape, you can’t let him catch you! Follow the rabbit! He will show you the way!” His words becoming more and more frantic as the orderlies restrained him, pulling him away and through a door. Cheshire thrashing and fighting all the while, shouting that he didn’t want to go, that this wasn’t real and that they couldn’t keep him here.

Magicia Valencia

She was already shaking her head as they approached, feeling a bit of panic rise in her chest. No, she was here to free Chesh, not herself! And who was he so afraid of? “No Chesh, stop – I.. I’m gonna get you out, I…” And they were upon him, so she had to shut up, scooting backwards as they grabbed him and pulled him away. But she did call after him. “Hang in there, Cheshy!” As she struggled to her feet, she looked around desperately. Follow the white rabbit… She did her best to ignore the ramblings of her ex in the corner as she moved to the pile of Alice paraphernalia to sort through it. Just to make sure we wasn’t talking about another doll. “Follow the white rabbit, he says. Bitch, do I look like Alice?” 

Archibald Cheshire, Prince of Nihilheim.

In the paraphernalia there was nothing, nothing but the pictures and paintings. However, the more they went through, the more erratic they became. Some becoming nothing more than scribbles in different colors that blended to become a murky brown. The Words “First Gate” Sprawled on the top with a picture of what had to be mags surrounded by eyes watching. “Follow the rabit” posted at the bottom. Still, there was nothing there. “TEEF!” Helve called from the corner. “No more teef! Am better than teef! Not an eats, give pizza! Pizza to the feef!” He shouted, pointing towards a door where a stuffed maid doll with rabbit ears sat.

Magicia Valencia

Magicia glared at the picture, deciding to “borrow” it by slipping it into her stupid hospital clothes and standing up to turn to Helve. “Aren’t you supposed to be somewhere in space, raccoon b-” she snapped, but interrupted herself when she noticed the doll. How long had that been there? Frowning, she looked quickly around, checking the positions of any stationed staff members as she slowly moved towards the door. 

Archibald Cheshire, Prince of Nihilheim.

As she moved towards the door, the maid merely winked. “Oi, issa’bout time y’caught on it its.” It spoke in an almost cockney accent. “So you’re the invader what’s got the dark one up inna tissy eh? Best start eddin towards the exit, love. ‘fore he gets even deeper in yer noggin.”

Magicia Valencia

Oh boy, that accent plus that maid voice was… something. She crossed her arms over her chest. She had half a mind that this ‘Dark One’ was the reason why Chesh didn’t want her to break some seals. “If you say so. Lead on, White Rabbit.” Guess I am Alice after all, she thought. Oh well. 

Archibald Cheshire, Prince of Nihilheim.

The doll sort of flopped in on itself before trying to stand up and crouching almost like a gorilla. “C’mon then, this way, Alice! The only way out of the rabbit hole is down it s’more!” It moved like one too. Using its front “Legs” to propel itself forward before landing on its rear and continuing forwards. “Been awhile since the asylums been up n’runnin. Too right, y’musta done summin right n’proper t’get em t’remake the prisons. Wonder what that is, was’ee planin i wonder? Always planin somin he is. Always tryin t’get out n’cause a mess.” As it moved, the sounds of footsteps could be heard, Dr.Valencia shouting that Maggy needed to be found, the orderlies nodding an moving out. “Fek, thought we’d ave more time! This way alice! T’the roof! We need t’get to the roof!”

Magicia Valencia

She followed with haste, matching her speed to the maid doll’s, doing her best to ignore her father’s voice. Couldn’t this thing go any faster? Part of her wondered if the maid was just another pawn in the game – something designed to lead her further into the Dark One’s clutches. Yet even if that was the case, she couldn’t let it bother her. No matter where she was led, she had enough confidence in her powers she’d been training for so long to help her survive. “Can’t you pick up the pace, then!?” 

Archibald Cheshire, Prince of Nihilheim.

“Oi, wasn’t exactly built fer this, mate! Gangly limbs n’the like! Seems like a purposeful design flaw! Not that i don’t mind the teeth, lemme tell you!” He got to a door at the end of a hall and jumped up, pulling at the handle “Is locked!” He shouted, stretching a finger out and popping a claw like a key. “Lemme see if i can.. ah! Got it! This way, Alice, Just up the GAH!” As the door opened, A dark aura surrounded him, causing the rabbit a bit of ain. “Fuck me!” He cursed, writhing on the floor as Mearo approached. “Go on then, up the stares and off the roof! Y’gotta go deeper, gotta find what y’came here for and get out.”

Magicia Valencia

“Damn it…” She turned on her heel, casting a quick glance back at the image of Mearo before shaking her head and running ahead. Even if it was just a vision, she didn’t have time to try to fight whatever this thing could do while imitating her father. And unlike Chesh, well… maids were nothing if not expendable. At least with the rabbit no longer leading her, she could speed up. Her own power kicking in to will her forward in a blur. Up the stairs she went! “Wait… did that bastard say OFF the roof? What the hell!?” 

Archibald Cheshire, Prince of Nihilheim.

“Maggy!” Mearo said “Wait! Stop! Come on back!” Slowly he motioned towards the door. “Come on back inside, Maggy. We’ll get you relaxed and calm and…” He sighed. “Oh what’s the point in playing anymore?” The voice changed, becoming something far deeper with just the undertone of more voices. As if as it spoke more and more whispers joined in the words. “I would appreciate it if you didnt, Magicia. I have plans for you. Plans that I feel would best serve is you remained here.”

Magicia Valencia

“Tcch.” She kept ascending the stairs, hoping to see the door to the roof any moment now. “I’m sure you can monologue your plans while I find my food! Oh by the way – Mearo NEVER called me Maggy. You need to work on your act!” A laugh at that. 

Archibald Cheshire, Prince of Nihilheim.

“Or perhaps a different approach?” As she ascended, the door at the top of the stairs would open. Revealing a crystalline world. Paracosm. At least, the view of it from the air. “Lovely, isn’t it? I can’t tell you how heartbroken we were when we found out of its destruction. Its aesthetic, its people, hell, the very reason it was founded. Hell, it was part of the inspiration to make Nihilheim. A shame that it’s gone.” The image of Mearo vanished, replaced instead by a shade that floated besides Mags, a near copy of the form she had taken when reformed. “All those lives, all those people, the gore nests. All gone beyond your reach… but what if they werent?”

Magicia Valencia

She skidded to a halt once she made it outside. The vision of Paracosm did catch her off guard. Her beautiful kingdom… she’d worked so hard to create it, and fought tooth and nail to protect it. So hard that her greatest act to protect it caused her to break and disappear for over a year. Yet, this sentiment was clouded. “If they weren’t gone, then I’d be expected to go back to the way things were. Play nice. Act the part of leader and politician. Fight in all those stupid wars.” She clenched her fists down at her sides, eyes narrowing. “I don’t want it back. That chain is broken. And I’m here to break Cheshy’s chains next. He doesn’t have to feel compelled to work for that shitshow of an island and its stupid goddess who never had to face any consequences for her actions like I did.” 

Archibald Cheshire, Prince of Nihilheim.

“But what if you didn’t? It’s not just the people, the place that’s here but you. Your true self, your whole self.” a skeletal hand reached out, motioning towards the kingdom. “You are righteous in your anger, Magicia. The world that you sought to protect treated you as nothing more than a nuisance. But our power is great, almost as great as yours. You could have your cake and eat it too. We could show you the way, you could take Cheshire there and live whole and complete lives. Removing him and his city from the wretched world, united under one banner. Your banner, Nightmare Empress…”

Magicia Valencia

“… Heh.” She lowered her head, a chuckle escaping her. “Hehe… hehe.. AHAHAHA!” Then she burst out into maniacal laughter, clutching her sides. “Oh.. oh my gods, were you serious? You honestly thought I’d take that offer!? Oh boy.” She wiped a tear from her eye, straightening up and grinning maliciously. “You seem to misinterpret my desires. I already have my kingdom and am ruling it. As for Cheshy? His choices are his own. Whether he breaks, heals, separates from everything, or gives up and goes crawling right back to that stupid goddess, or wants to unite, or says ‘screw you, Mags. You smell weird’ and fucks right out of my life the moment I’m done here.” 

Archibald Cheshire, Prince of Nihilheim.

The skeletal hand pulled itself back. “So be it…” It commented, the door and platform that Mags stood upon vanishing beneath her feet leaving nothing but air. The clouds over the sky became tainted with a greenish hue to it as the wind whipped and the smell of smoke filled the atmosphere. What at first might have been mistaken for dying stars in the twilight began to grow larger and larger until the fiery forms of meteors became clear. The first one struck the ground, people screaming in terror as another one struck. A pillar of smoke rising up into the air, millions of voices crying out towards the heavens, shouting for salvation.

Magicia Valencia

She closed her eyes, willing herself to dull out the sounds of the horrors of the past. Of course it hurt. Her heart ached as it relived that terrible moment of desperation, but her own power was at least enough to remind her that it was a memory. Paracosm was safe. She knew that. “What do YOU really want, I wonder? Are you Chesh’s true desires, or something he’d rather keep restrained? For what purpose do you try to distract me?” 

Archibald Cheshire, Prince of Nihilheim.

“I am but a humble Jailer.” The voice commented, echoing deep within her skull as the sounds dulled. The screams fading into the background. The scenery changing, becoming now the ruined husk of the Paracosm. Corpses lined the streets. Mothers clutching children, suffocated by the smoke. Charred remains hanging out of windows, having burned to death trying to escape. Rubble lay everywhere. Maid corpses struck down and eradicated by debris and smaller asteroids. Yet the palace stood nearly untouched, its crystal towers and spires standing high above the ruins. “I am that which keeps the darkness at bay and maintains order within this turbulent mindscape. You will find naught here but doom and ruin. Turn back now.” A whisper spoke, trying to get mag’s attention. “Pst, Alice… Oi… o’er ‘ere.” It tried to whisper and be subtle, a charred corpse of small rabbit creature motioning with it’s paws. “C’mon, we’s gotta get going.”

Magicia Valencia

“You say that as if my removing a little bit of insignificant desire will throw everything out of balance.” She said, a bit of sarcasm in her voice. Magicia was well aware of the risks her actions presented – both to Chesh and to herself. Yet she was determined to keep going. Opening her eyes, she slowly stepped closer to the rabbit remains, careful to keep enough attention on said Jailer’s voice to seem like she wasn’t doing much. “But he agreed to this.” 

Archibald Cheshire, Prince of Nihilheim.

You and he are in great danger the longer you are here. Leave, or suffer the consequences.” The Rabbit slowly turned its head towards Mags, a single golden eye popping open. Incredibly clear against the destroyed and burnt flesh and fur. “Oi, c’mon, we’s gotta get goin! The boy’s got em’ distracted fer now but we needs t’go. Yer wantin to do summin to is mind, yeah? Eat an attachment t’that weird lil wolfy goddess, yeah? Then we’re gonna need to get t’the core.”

Magicia Valencia

“… Fine.” She slowly turned, only to grab the rabbit corpse and burst into a run. “But you smell weird!” Fuck that, she was going to listen to the rabbit over the Jailer. Hopefully even in its condition, it could still guide her to the ‘core’ while they had the chance. “Where to, bunny?” 

Archibald Cheshire, Prince of Nihilheim.

There be nine gates t’get through t’get to the core. Yer stuck in the first gate now. We’s gotta get deeper down.” The rabbit sits up, shaking its self and regrowing its fur. “This way.” Hoppity hop hop, it raced down a back alley. Out of the paracosm. “Not exactly what we hads in mind, but if yer hear t’help then is my job t’help you.”

Magicia Valencia

Nine gates… he had to be kidding. She’d spent all this time in just one?! She withheld a groan of frustration, simply following along as fast as she could. If this was a weaker mindscape, she would have just forced her way through at this point. Unfortunately, she had to take the slower gentler approach for two reasons – First, because Chesh’s mind was proving to be strong, which she had anticipated, and second, because she didn’t want to accidentally cause extra damage. At least this rabbit didn’t move like a gorilla. “You think that Jailer guy will keep chasing us through all the gates?” 

Archibald Cheshire, Prince of Nihilheim.

“Oh yes, more than likely!” It called back with an almost gleeful tone. “Thing is though, ‘is control over the mindscape weakens the deeper we get. So he’ll probably start getting more and more desperate as time goes on. Luckily fer you, the boy’s is on your side. So, they’s causin lots’a problems for em in the deeper layers. Keepen im busy whilst we get ya t’where y’need t’go. What is it you’s lookin for exactly anyhow?”

Magicia Valencia

“Not sure yet. I’ll be able to tell what the connection is when I sense it. I know enough about the mindscape to at least lock on when I’m close. Plus I am at least familiar enough with Twine to probably pick up a scent… probably’ll be like shit.” She figured ‘the boy’ was that version of Chesh she saw back in the mental ward, and hoped to herself that they were doing alright. “Let’s just focus on getting to the core first.” 

Archibald Cheshire, Prince of Nihilheim.

“Oh, you’s looking for Twine stuffs? Well why didn’t ya says so? Thats not that far from here… in gat three iffin i member correctly. Bad stuff that, the boss don’t be liking that place too much. Will be happy when it’s sick is removed from the head space, yeah?” As they moved deeper into the forests, eventually they came to a large tree with a burrow at the roots. “Eh, secon gate’s a little weird… Just gonna warn ya. Plenny o’beast folk gettin nice and close. Drugs, loud musics.” It shuttered. “Ain’t gonna be PG-13 thats fer sure. Also, mind the dead things, yeah.”

Magicia Valencia

“Oh thank gods…” She gasped in relief at the mention of it being in a much closer gate, though the warning did churn her stomach. She slid to a stop at the tree, taking a moment to get her bearings. “Great. A furry porn gate. Of course.” She looked up to the sky and shook a fist, as if cursing Chesh back in the waking world. “You be thankful the maids aren’t with me!” With that, she sighed and nodded, starting to slip in. “Alright, let’s get this over with.” With any luck, perhaps it wouldn’t be as bad as she anticipated. 

Archibald Cheshire, Prince of Nihilheim.

“Nah, they’d be smote right quick what with they anti sex stuff.” The rabbit nods to the burrow. “Right, in ya go.”

Magicia Valencia

She made her way inside, bracing herself for whatever laid within, while summoning her mind power to help her survive it. If you could make it through the literal shitstorms on Twine and that art in the True Web, you can make it through this, she thought. 

Archibald Cheshire, Prince of Nihilheim.

As Mags crawled through the literal rabbit hole, the sounds of thumping club music could be heard. Industrial beats and rhythm mixed with the smell of alcohol and tobacco. Then, slowly, the dirt and dead foliage of the burrow became replaced with linoleum flooring. The music grew louder, the sounds of people laughing, the scent of sweat. The burrow became larger and larger till she found herself once more standing in a void. Before her stood two red velvet doors that were swung open and barely hanging off the hinges. The music was coming from within. a stone archway with flashing lights at either side raised high into the sky. Fog drifted from the open gate, carrying with it another familiar scent. The smell of different animal folk and… other things. Behind her, the burrow had vanished and was instead replaced with a simple push door with a red exit sign above it. 

Magicia Valencia

Wrinkling her nose, Magicia quietly stepped forward to the arch. The music’s pulsing mixed with the smell made her head ache a bit. But she wasn’t going back. Straight forward was the only option to her. “Why does he even have this gate… Here I thought he couldn’t possibly have anything that’d make me like him less.” 

Archibald Cheshire, Prince of Nihilheim.

Blaring strobe lights, blasting music, men and women of various species ‘dancing’ with one another. A husky in a suit did a line off of some shirtless human woman’s chest and howled. A human male downed a beer while someone downed him. Truly this was a place of sin and debase desires. A large demonoid sat in a booth with several faceless women surrounding him. The gentleman wore a suit as sharp as could be with skin like crimson and golden halos set into black pits that one might call eyes. Eyes that gazed at Mags in a predatory state. A cigar brought up to his lips and the smoke dragged. A small hungry smile given. The same smile a hunter gives when they’ve locked eyes on their next wall mount. 

Magicia Valencia

She couldn’t tell if the presence of other human-like beings made the scene better or worse. On one hand, that made her less worried about being tossed like an outsider before she could make it through. On the other, it posed a greater risk to her. Even worse, now that she’d been out of the mental ward zone for a while, that hospital uniform was gone, and she was back in her original outfit. She suddenly regretted being so dolled up for her meeting with Chesh. Regardless, she just tried her best to push her way through the crowd, casting a wary glare towards the demonoid seemingly watching her. No. He was definitely watching her. Great. 

Archibald Cheshire, Prince of Nihilheim.

Not all was vice and glim, however. Standing at the bar was a rather dapper fellow. A flaming skeletal creature that burned with pink flames. Much larger with broader shoulders who seemed to just be watching everything. A look given towards the demon before following the eye trail back to the new comer. The necropyro gave a friendly wave towards the woman before loading up a black labelless bottle and handing it to a rather bust blue wolf… cat… thing… and sending it over towards the demon. The music continued to play and it seemed as if there was no slowing down.

Magicia Valencia

She kept pushing her way through, admittedly unsure of where to go. Spotting the necropyro, she decided to take a chance with talking to them, making her way over to the bar and clearing her throat, trying to be heard above the noise. “Excuse me, do you think you can help me? I need to get out of here but that demon creep is giving me signals and he is NOT my type. Do you know if there’s a back exit or something?” 

Archibald Cheshire, Prince of Nihilheim.

“Yeah, I can point you in the right direction. Shits gotten bad since he took over.” The creature spoke telepathically with an almost soothing tone to his voice. “Head towards the back of the area, towards the women’s restroom. You’re looking for a girl, roughly five foot. Purple and pink hair. Dressed similar to you. Total punk goth bit going on. Find her, tell her Levi sent you and that Nox is up to his shit again. She’ll be able to get you out.”

Magicia Valencia

“Thanks, I appreciate it… love the flames.” She politely waved and pushed her way back through the crowd, doing her best to ignore the obscenity around her as she worked her way towards the back and out to the hall that hopefully had the restroom. She frantically searched for the girl the skeleton had described. 

Archibald Cheshire, Prince of Nihilheim.

The door to the women’s restroom burst open. A large anubian looking individual flying through and rolling onto the floor. The door was caught by a pale, almost purple, hand with pink nail polish. A woman stepped through. Green eyes locked onto the man with an intense rage. She was dressed in a black t shirt that simply read “We’re all mad here” in splattered purple lettering. A cheshire cat designed tutu with long stockings of the same color pattern. Thigh high black platform boots and wrist bands for days. “I told you…” He spat out, cracking her knuckles and approaching the Anubian. “Guess that’s just one more dog to neuter.” She smiled, an unnaturally large grin over her face as those nails grew into something razor sharp and abhorrent. Her tail slinking out from behind her as those cat ears folded back over her head. 

Magicia Valencia

Magicia stumbled back a bit, not wanting to get in the way. If this one had intent to maim, she wasn’t going to interfere, lest she meet those claws herself. But then she realized something, and couldn’t help but speak. “Cheshy, is that you?!” 

Archibald Cheshire, Prince of Nihilheim.

Those ears perked up, that smile fading as she turned towards the one that spoke her name. “Uh… yeah? Do i know you?” She asked in a bored expression, the Anubian getting up and running out of the club and into the crowd. Chesh squinting in their general direction. “Fuck… guess the vets gonna have to make a house call…” She muttered. The claws returning to normal hands before resting on her hips and giving a look over. “Yeah… definitely haven’t slept with you yet. Cute outfit though. I love your hair.”

Magicia Valencia

Her brow furrowed. Okay, this version probably wouldn’t recognize her like the first one. That was okay. She could work with this. “Thanks. Sorry. You do but you don’t. It’s complicated. But Levi told me to tell you he sent me, and that Nox is ‘up to his shit again’. Said you could help me.” 

Archibald Cheshire, Prince of Nihilheim.

“Oh, yeah.” She snorted “where do you need to go? Got a safe place in the city?” She brought hands up and gave a large stretch, mouth open wide as she yawned and popped her neck. 

Magicia Valencia

Actually, I’m looking for a gate of some sort. Supposed to lead to somewhere unpleasant, but I need to get there. It’s very important.” She looked over her shoulder quickly, checking to see if that demonoid was still distracted. “Know of anything like that?” 

Archibald Cheshire, Prince of Nihilheim.

“Lady… you’re going to have to be far more specific. Bug gates leading to nasty places? I could count ten on this world alone.” She rolled her eyes. 

Magicia Valencia

She let out an exasperated sigh. “Okay, how about gates that lead to an island that’s literally made of shit and a nymphomaniac goddess? Does that narrow it down?”

Archibald Cheshire, Prince of Nihilheim.

“Yeah… one. But I haven’t really been to the truth or dare club since… well… anyways, you know Sakurai?”

Magicia Valencia

“Doesn’t sound familiar. Does it matter? I just really need to get there.” She glanced back over her shoulder once more. “And I’m kiiiinda in a rush. That demon guy isn’t the only one I’m trying to avoid.” 

Archibald Cheshire, Prince of Nihilheim.

“Shit…” she rolled her eyes. “Fine, hopefully everyone is asleep for the night” she reached out her hand for mags to take. “Well, come on before Nox decides to make his merry ass over here”

Magicia Valencia

Hand holding. If the maids were here, they’d be losing their minds. Magicia took her hand without hesitation, eager to get the fuck out of there. “Lead the way.” 

Archibald Cheshire, Prince of Nihilheim.

With a poof the two were gone. At least, Cheshire was. The world around Mags vanishing in a plume of smoke. “Deeper…” a voice whispered. Deep and dark, as if the ocean itself “Time is running out, Fledgling primordial…” The darkness became filled with clocks of every size, shape, and make. Each one zooming past her and filling the darkness with clicking, ticking, ringing. “He is coming…”. World came back into view, except this time it was not the night club, nor an island. Instead, it was what at one point had been a city. A large and sprawling scape with buildings made from grown plants and clear quartz. People, no, Fae, sprawled in the streets. Their blood flooding the roads, their bodies mangled and torn with insane smiles plastered on their faces. In the distance, a large tower stood, surrounded by a large white wall with a broken gate leading into darkness. 

Magicia Valencia

“… Cheshy?” Great. As soon as she’d gotten a glimpse at a different side of Chesh, they had vanished. She was alone once more. Well, not counting the piles of Fae. She’d made a point in the past to avoid dealing with them at all. One war Paracosm managed to stay out of. Sighing, she stepped over the bodies, making her way towards the gate. She didn’t want to stick around and wait for the Jailer to catch up with her. “Shame. Her outfit was cute.” 

Archibald Cheshire, Prince of Nihilheim.

As she approached the Gate, the storm clouds gathered. The wind picked up and shadows grew. Before the gate, rose the jailor, draped in dark cloak with skeletal hands pressed against one another. The shade looked round before looking back towards the gate and sighed. “You have no idea the danger you are posing at the moment, sweet daughter of fear.” He looked back to her. “You threaten to upset the very delicate balance that I’ve worked so hard to maintain. That this world in which you both reside have threatened and shattered more than once. Please, for your own sake, and the sake of those that you hold dear, leave.”

Magicia Valencia

Magicia stopped in her tracks, crossing her arms over her chest and sighing heavily. “Damn, you’re persistent aren’t you… Look, I already told ya. Cheshy consented to this. That’s all that matters to me. Even if what I choose to do does come back to bite me in the ass, I honestly don’t care.” A smirk graced her lips. “In fact, it would just mean more entertainment for me. If I got this much excitement  trying to win against you, I can only imagine what it would be like if I had to deal with whatever YOU’RE so afraid of.” Dark energy started to swirl around her, rising up in wisps of shadowy tentacles. “But I’m still here by Chesh’s wishes.” 

Archibald Cheshire, Prince of Nihilheim.

“What we want is often the opposite of what we need.” He looked over the woman and sighed before nodding. “I will do what i must.” Dropping the cloak, the figure took on a much fleshier form. It almost looked like Cheshire in his earlier incarnations. Dark hair that was finger combed back, a thinner build yet still larger than the twink forms that the mad cat normally took. However, where as Cheshire’s eyes were normally a shining emerald, this one bore frozen blue that quickly shifted towards a wolfish yellow. Reaching a hand out, he summoned a blade to his side. A large weapon, a german Zweihander clad in black at first before becoming clear. A layer of frost covering its edges. “This is your last chance to leave unharmed.” Taking the blade in two hands, he crouched, bringing the blade up so that its edge was in line with the ground, its tip pointed perfectly at the trespasser. 

Magicia Valencia

She had hoped to avoid an outright fight, but at this point she didn’t feel like she had a choice. Magicia took a defensive stance, smirk growing into a devilish grin. “I’ve come too far to just back out. Ya think I look like a quitter? I’m sure Chesh will forgive me for bashing in that face!” With a snap of her fingers, an array of glowing objects appeared before her, shining in luminescent shades of purple and silver: a shield, a spear, a pole axe, and three long curved blades. The tentacles around her became solid, thrashing eagerly. 

Archibald Cheshire, Prince of Nihilheim.

The stage was set, a frozen wall forming around the gate and sealing it shut for now. As the duel began, music began to play around the individuals. The Jailer went first, leaping forwards towards mags, weapon poised to lunge forwards between everything before the individual vanished, reappearing just a foot above her head with weapon changed. The blade now poised to strike down at her and cleave her in two.

Magicia Valencia

The shield swung forward to protect her, but the tentacles behind her snapped up to take the blow, granting her just enough time to sidestep. As a replacement tentacle formed, some of the others swooped in to try to snatch the Jailer from midair, while Magicia sent one of the curved blades flying towards him. 

Archibald Cheshire, Prince of Nihilheim.

As Mags stepped out of the way, a massive pillar of ice would launch from where she had once been. Striking the jailors feet and launching him back into the air to dodge the tendrils seeking to snag him. His zweihander pulled back, his body turned so that it faced her from the side in the air. A single swipe of the blade was made, launching a slicing wave of compressed air at the woman. Slowly dissipating as it made its way towards her and vanishing just before it would reach her. The cutting power would not be affected and as soon as the wave touched the ground it would explode in a freezing blast of cryo energy in hopes of trapping the woman.

Magicia Valencia

She braced herself for the hit, but wasn’t sliced as she anticipated. Instead, she got caught in the blast. She stumbled a bit, but quickly retaliated with a wave of purple flames that burst out in a circle around her to combat the ice. At the same time, a dozen new figures suddenly appeared, scattered across the makeshift arena. Perfect copies of Magicia. They cackled madly, twirling blades like the one she’d launched at him in her previous attack. 

Archibald Cheshire, Prince of Nihilheim.

Seems he was outnumbered. “From frozen heart and frigid soul, to devastation’s wind and thunders roll, you have come to disrupt but shall only mourn the might and glory of the winter’s storm!” His hands spun round, a second zweihander forming in his off hand. The blade freezing over. Sparks of blue lightning arcing from its metal and striking the floor. “He who makes a beast of himself…” He grunted, his physical form shifting, growing. His armor expanding and grunting as black fur began to grow. Teeth became razors, eyes became deathly yellow. The Jailor stood now as a back wolf with spotted white runes that flecked round his body. “Gets rid of the pain of being a man!” He howled that last bit. His transformation complete, his feet levitating off the ground in a whipping frozen wind.

Magicia Valencia

“Really, you’re going to do the whole rhyming thing?” The chorus of Magicias chanted, rolling their eyes. Each one firmed their stance, raising their blades in anticipation. Yet the original Magicia, now out of the ice, stood there calmly, simply gazing up at him. “You done? I’m already getting tired of this.” The dark energy around her was swirling quickly, getting sucked into her like a whirlpool and building up within. “You may be the beast, but if you don’t run like a little piggy right now, I’ll huff… and I’ll puff…” Did she need finish?

Archibald Cheshire, Prince of Nihilheim.

He brought the blades up and at an X. Slashing downwards, the lightning erupted off of him, lashing out at each of the nightmare clones to strike with a thunderous roar. All except one. The Jailor dashed forwards towards where the original had been, vanishing and reappearing behind her! His body twisted in mid leap with both blades poised to strike down at her in a whirling slash. He winced. Seemingly in pain. “From darkest depths of the troubled mind, no respite, no rest, no peace shall you find!”

Magicia Valencia

Each mirrored Magicia was eliminated easily. As their forms were broken, they left wisps of nightmare energy in their wake, only for it to be sucked right in by the original as she continued to gather up energy. Yet, she couldn’t imagine she’d be left alone to do so. She ducked, muttering under her breath. “Awakened Nightmares.” Shrieking shadowy figures suddenly sprung up all around her, shielding her from his blades. It wasn’t much. Just enough time for her to turn into a puddle of dark goo and ooze quickly away from the path of his blades, only to pop back up several meters away, glaring. All that built up energy was joining in a single concentrated pinpoint within her. “… Last chance, piggy.” 

Archibald Cheshire, Prince of Nihilheim.

As she dodged, his feet connected to the floor, leaping high into the air once again. Taking the original Zweihander, he flipped it so that he was holding it like a spear and launched it towards her. as he did, it separated into ten other blades. each one surrounding her. in a perfect circle with the center one aimed at her feet. as he fell, he turned himself so that he would land directly on top of her. His blade once more coming down in a slashing motion. 

Magicia Valencia

As the blades surrounded her and he charged, it was as if time itself slowed to a halt. The swipe of his blade frozen barely an inch from her flesh. Magicia closed her eyes, internally expressing a hint of remorse. She hadn’t originally planned to do anything that could potentially damage Chesh’s mindscape, but her patience was wearing thin. And in that moment, that prolonged silence held out, she whispered. “Nova Blast.” Suddenly, all of the energy pent up inside of her burst, like an atom bomb detonating. A devastating blast of raw nightmare energy swept across the land around her, with her body at the radius, forming a crater with a diameter spanning as far as the wall blocking the gate was. 

Archibald Cheshire, Prince of Nihilheim.

Ah, the nova. A remarkably powerful move that was able to be amplified with different types of damage. “NO!!!!” The jailor cried out, its form blasted away. The entirety of this gates sub level completely removed and dropping mags deep within the subconscious mind of Archibald. Once more she would find herself floating within the galaxy like void that had greeted her upon entrance. However, the shards that drifted showed not only Cheshire’s memories and glimpses of his life, but hers as well. “Well done, my little nightmare…” The same voice as before called out. A cloud of red and black cosmic gas forming into a somewhat humanoid shape and floating before her. Twin shards floated forwards, creating the illusion of eyes whilst an empty space was left taking on the shape of a horrible grin that spanned ear to ear. “You performed far better than i anticipated and for that, you deserve a reward…” It brought its hands up, as if to embrace her yet made no movements forwards. “Speak your desire and i shall grant it…”

Magicia Valencia

Magicia slowly opened her eyes after the fall. The blast had cost her the responsiveness to try to avoid the plunge. As the ringing quieted in her ears, she stared cautiously at the entity. “Beyond what I came here to find? If not, I’ll just take my meal now…” 

Archibald Cheshire, Prince of Nihilheim.

The being gave a pleased hum. “I will be observing you…” It warned, the cosmic energy within its chest forming a massive grey eye that looked upon Mags before a wave of tiny black hands shot forwards from its pupil. Each one grabbing onto her and pulling her deeper within the darkness. Nothingness. An abyss. The silence of an empty mind. Then, as her vision cleared, light. an impossibly bright light illuminating a room filled with orbs on pedestals. Each one showing a face, a place, a feeling. Mags would find one with herself there and another with Kida. Nihilheim and Twine were there as well. The area seemed to be split in two with recent things on one side and older attachments and desires on the other. Friendships, lovers, important places, important people, important things. Some were cracked, others lay with the shattered remains of their own orbs littered atop their holding places. She stood now in the place where all attachments, wants, desires, and fears resided within his mind. “Enjoy your buffet…” The voice whispered with a dark chuckle, leaving the woman to do as she wished. “But remember, more will always form…” 

Magicia Valencia

She struggled at first when grabbed, only to relax as she realized what was happening. And then, she found herself in the room. Rubbing her arms, she slowly stepped forth, taking a close look at all the orbs, before settling in front of the one that was obviously for Twine. She paused, casting a slow side glance at another orb. Tempting… no. It wasn’t necessary. This would be enough. She slowly lifted the Twine orb, smirking. “Finally. It was a bitch to get to you but… that just makes the meal more appetizing.” Her mouth watered as she spoke. Slowly she pulled it closer to her face. “Well, Cheshy. Here goes.” With that, her jaw unhinged like a snake’s, and she devoured the orb whole; savoring the memories, the desires, the regret… everything. 

Archibald Cheshire, Prince of Nihilheim.

As she consumed the orbs, the pedestal  merely crumbled. Other orbs now growing brighter, others fading. From here she could enter any memory or sensation that she wanted too. Or she could simply leave. The choice was hers to make as to what to do next.

Magicia Valencia

Magicia clutched at her chest, shivering as she felt a powerful sensation flood her. As she’d suspected, feeding from Chesh was much more filling than fragments of life essence from unsuspecting innocents. It was astounding. Eventually she’d straighten up, taking a moment to think before stepping over to the orb she’d been looking at before, sneering at the image of a particular goddess. She couldn’t help it. With a flick of her finger, she sent a crack into the orb – allowing it to remain, but in a damaged state. She was, after all, a petty being. And she could not forgive the goddess for being pardoned for crimes that Magicia herself was never pardoned for. With that, she finally turned, and out of curiosity, decided to check one last thing; entering the memories Chesh had of Magicia. 

Archibald Cheshire, Prince of Nihilheim.

Oh how few there were. Yet, pleasant nonetheless. Beginning with glimpses here and there. Times they had both occupied the space. Cheshire remembered back when she was but a corpse roaming the Red Sun, skulking within the rafters. A sense of curiosity prevailed before moving into the events that seemed to be the catalyst for the recent turmoils. The year the world was destroyed and the book reforged. A sense of respect was had. One that was formed and grew from sharing in the struggle and the conflict. There was a genuine enjoyment in the company of one so similar. Someone whom Chesh could crack jokes with during the horrors and battles. A kinship, almost. Then with the battle over, the memories would move into Cheshire reading through books and records, doing what he could to learn of the woman and frustration that no one seemed to know exactly how her powers and abilities worked. A sense of playful glee at the snack wars. A clear first person view of Cheshire declaring it and then poofing off to Paracosm and stealing the snacks back. An almost childish sense of mischief as he peeked in on her performing her sovereign duties before drawing a mustache on one of her portraits before poofing away. Then… then came the pain. The pain that was had when cheshire heard of what had happened to Paracosm. The pain of losing yet another friend. The hope that she was alright and the regret that he couldn’t do anything. Thoughts of her were scattered after that. As he pulled the people of Nihilheim into the void he wondered if Magicica was able to do the same thing. From there, nothing more than invasive thoughts now and then. Thinking back on her at times while stuck in the eternal darkness of the void. Then, the return. The absolute elation at meeting her shade and figuring out who it was. The sense of joy that he had now that SOMEONE was back. Reservation. It had been a decade for Cheshire. He had changed so much, and with the forming crush, he feared nothing more than heartbreak and being left alone again. He remembered seeing her fully formed from the hole in the floor of the red sun. It was then that he made the choice to take on the more princely persona. The reservation still there. A sort of regret when she left the tea party after so many uninvited guests showed up. Finally, it was their last meeting. Their current. Where she had called him ‘Friend’. A word that he had not heard in reference to himself in so long. A single word enough to break a crack in those walls and allow him the vulnerability to let her in. Literally. Hoping that his trust would not be betrayed. Hoping that there might finally be a friend that remains. Hope.

Magicia Valencia

For such few memories, it was a lot to take in. She took her time wandering through the scenes, reminiscing. The nostalgia of a chapter she’d closed on her life was refreshing, yet a reminder of her desire to move forward on a different path. Yet she also felt regret as she truly realized the effect her disappearance had on others, or at least on him. She was happy that in the end, at least part of her had carried on with what she no longer would, but the repercussions of that action did strike a nerve. Finally, she made it to the most recent memory, lingering on it in silent thought. The dreamwalker had what she came for. Now it was time to see what’d happen next. With a deep breath, she extended a hand, as if to touch the memory like a window pane. Her thoughts returned to the childish Chesh back in the mental ward. “I won’t go away again, okay?” With that, she pushed her way through, willing herself to finally exit if she could. “Time to wake up, Alice.” 

Archibald Cheshire, Prince of Nihilheim.

The exit was easily found. As she reformed, not much had changed in the room aside from a dinner tray with cold tea and food left on it. ten days had passed, Ten days the servants had brought him his dinner. The fire was cold. The only light filtering in from the window as the waxing crescent moon smiled down upon the city. Cheshire’s eyes slowly opened. The headache he was experiencing was intense. Combined with the muscle aches and stiffness and he was not in a good physical state. Many of the servants had begun to wonder if the prince had died in his sleep. Cheshire was beginning to wish that he had.

Magicia Valencia

Her eyes snapped open and she shot up straight, having not been moved from where she laid on the desk. She gripped her head, not wincing in pain, but panting heavily as the power rush truly hit her. It took a moment for her blurred vision to clear. And then she saw him. “Y-you alright there? I did warn you about the headache.” She’d not yet realized the passage of time, but the tray and different moon were hints that it’d taken her much longer than she’d expected to make it through. That alone would probably make the pain worse than a quick dreamwalking session.

Archibald Cheshire, Prince of Nihilheim.

A pained groan was all she got in response. He gave a slow blink, looking around and closing his eyes again with a grimace of pain. A pat on the table was made, three times, before he leaned forwards and cradled his face in his hands. “A headache i can take… this feels like someone pierced my hippocampus with red hot nails…” He mumbled, reaching over to down the cold tea. “Gods below this is not something that I think I want to experience again. I think I’d rather be pregnant again.”

Magicia Valencia

Frowning, she slid off of the desk and moved over to where he sat, crouching by his right side. “Sorry, I got a bit carried away at the end there. But I’m pretty sure I managed not to break any seals, at least.” She wouldn’t comment on the pregnancy thing.

Archibald Cheshire, Prince of Nihilheim.

“Well, I still feel like myself so that’s alright. Even if I feel like I’d rather be dead.” He leaned back in the chair. Forcing his mind to block out the pain so that he could somewhat function. He’d ask about what she saw later. For now, he was hungry, thirsty, and tired. “So, what happens now? I just wait for things to not affect me?”

Magicia Valencia

“I suppose so. If Twine gets nuked from orbit or something and you don’t feel the desire to rush off and help, then we’ll know I succeeded. But right now you definitely need some rest. I know we’ve been here a while, but what we did definitely doesn’t count as a good night’s sleep.” She slowly stood, brushing her hair out of her face with a deep sigh. “I’ll leave you to that, if it’s alright.”

Archibald Cheshire, Prince of Nihilheim.

“That’s… fine…” He muttered, slowly standing up. “Fuck i need a drink.” He looked off in the direction of Persistence and frowned. “You know, there’s this new place i’ve been meaning to go to. Saw an ad for it on the television. Dusty Rose they call it.” He groaned a bit again and stretched. “I think I’ll head there for now. A relaxing atmosphere sounds like it would do wonders right now.”

Magicia Valencia

“Oh, I’ve been there. It’s actually really nice. I think it may be my new preferred watering hole.” She smiled a bit and nodded. “Perhaps I’ll see you around there sometime, if I don’t pop back in here to check up first.” She dipped her head politely. “Until next time then…goodnight, Chesh.” With that, she floated away as a wisp of purple smoke, vanishing into the night.

Archibald Cheshire, Prince of Nihilheim.

“Good night, Magicia.” He muttered, watching her vanish before straightening himself out and poofing off to the dusty Rose.

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