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Eternal Winter witihin Nome (Firesblood) M

readlliea · 349 · 2350

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Offline readlliea

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"I may not be the best human there is, but I'm not gonna use people like those who have wronged me have. I don't want anyone else to end up in the same situations as me..only fair to think of the person whose helping." Woodsly replied.

What kind of trade? Well that was something he didn't know. Truthfully, Wilson's life consisted of him working at a grocery store and Woodsly knew there was no way he could keep a facade up to do that sort of job. Something that would limit his interaction with people but no enough to where he couldn't potentially spy on those he was hunting.

"Truthfully I'm not sure. Probably something that will come in use after everything is done." Woodsly started, pondering it over. "Perhaps carpentry? I know how to hunt and skin what I catch, so selling pelts on the side is easy. But not really a way to get close to some of the people who are on the list. Everyone needs chairs and such for their homes, as well as repairs. So that would be a good way to go. And it'll be useful after everything is done."


Offline Firesblood

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Astrid smiled slightly.  “Well I think you’re alright…for a human,” she said, a touch of jest in her tone.

He went on to talk about what sort of trade he was thinking.  Carpentry was a useful skill, something for which there was always use.  If he was good enough, he could stand to make a good living, and that would only help him before and after his plans saw fruition.  And he made mention of an after…he was thinking about it.  Astrid nodded in approval.  “That’s a good choice.  Carpentry is an honorable skill.  Working with ones hands can be rewarding on its own, but as you said, everyone needs furniture.  It could provide you a comfortable means of living.  Give you options for life that you may not have thought you would have.”

She met his eyes.  “Maybe enough that you could eventually have your own team of dogs?  Race like you once hoped for?  Anything is possible, you realize?”

More and more, she found herself rooting for him.  She wanted to see him succeed in all of his goals.  He had seen enough pain to fill several lifetimes, and in her opinion could do with tasting the sweetness of life instead of the sour. 


Offline readlliea

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A brow was raised before he chuckled as he sat there. Alright huh? Well she didn't quite know the extent of the things he had done..she didn't need to as well. Though when she went on about how good a choice carpentry was, he didn't have much to add to it. The sled racing being brought up was what changed his mood some. The man looked away from her, a mixture of emotions noticeable in his eyes before he sighed.

"No. That one is long shelved in 'not going to happen' area." Woodsly said.

That wasn't something he was going to chase. The desire to be a musher is what got Wilson into that mess. If he hadn't engaged with that Poisonous Plant then...then things would've turned out different. Wilson wouldn't have listened to her and would had put as much blind trust in her.

"Anyway, I guess carpentry is something to work on during these three weeks with the other things. I can get extra money with selling furs from anything I hunt as hunting would help keep costs down." Woodsly said, trying to change the subject some.


Offline Firesblood

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Astrid caught on to the fact that she had hit a nerve and sobered, taking a mental note of it.  “I understand,” she murmured.  She didn’t, but she guessed that it had something to do with a hurt in his past that he wasn’t ready to reveal.  That was alright.  If he wished to tell her eventually, that would be his choice. 

She heeded the change of subject without hesitation.  “There is plenty of wood around and you can use my tools if you like.  That way you can save what you earn for the furs.”

The mention of hunting made Astrid realize how late in the day it had gotten, and she was getting hungry.  Standing, she grabbed the stew pot from earlier so that she could clean it up.  “I don’t know about you, but I’ll be ready for supper soon.  I’m going to get started on that.  Do you need anything before I head outside to get things together?”     


Offline readlliea

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"Thank you." Woodsly replied, somewhat quietly before returning to his normal tone. "No, I might get some rest before the food is done. Just starting to feel a bit tired now."

It wasn't a lie but he also was starting to feel a bit on edge with the whole sled thing brought up. No need to take it out on Astrid since she was just trying to help. So laying down for a short nap seemed like a good idea. Plus, everything was starting to hurt a bit more as he sat there.
---------

The rest of the week had gone without issues, the two would talk whenever Astrid had a moment and Woodsly was fine with that. He wasn't expecting her daily routine to change just because he was here and all. Plus, the rest he got was needed whenever there were quiet moments. Some times he filled those moments trying to work on carpentry as he had to get a feel for the tools; new injuries to his hands were a bit common since he was learning a new skill. As frustrating as it was, he would try again though he did have to stop longer than he meant to due to a deeper cut he put into his hand when the tool slipped and went the wrong way.

By time the second week started, Astrid had managed to make some clothes for him and he was grateful. She no longer had to stare at all the scars littering his form and he would be fully dressed for once. Plus the old pants he was wearing were tattered messes anyway. The small conversations they had were pleasant and there were times he pointed out what the fur was that she was using when she hadn't mentioned it. As for the injuries he had from when he first met her, some bruises had healed as did a few other spots. Though it wasn't to the point he was fit as a fiddle or anything like that. He still needed this week and the next to fully recover.

Although, since the man now had a means of attire. He could go out and make himself more useful. The current way he was doing that today was working on chopping firewood. The pile had gotten lower since two people were in the house, so it needed to be refilled sooner. With the axe in hand, Woodsly determined the sweet spot on the piece he was going to cut in half for the pile. This was something he used to help out with growing up; more than not though he was the one to stack the firewood. Raising the axe over his head, he swung it down though a pained sound left him as the blade hit the wood.

His sides ached and this time it was a bit much to ignore as he took in a few unsteady breathes. His breath turning to white mist as he used one arm to press against his chest and hold his side. Due to the wince during the swing, the blade didn't go all the way through the wood. It hadn't split in two.


Offline Firesblood

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 Over the course of the following week, Astrid spent much of her time as she usually did.  Work never ended, and though she found she was enjoying her conversations with Woodsly, she couldn’t shirk her responsibilities. 

Behind the cabin was a small barn with a shaggy cow, two sheep, and several spunky goats that liked to trail after her when she worked.  All over and disguised beneath mounds of snow were hot boxes covered in wavy glass, with the same sort of strange runes etched in the wood as the chest inside the cabin.  The function was obvious when opened; inside were a wealth of plants that should have never been able to survive the dark, cold winters of Alaska without some form of magic to help them along.  Different herbs were harvested and prepared daily, and it wasn’t uncommon for her to preserve vegetables in jars for later as she harvested.  Others were put directly in cold storage, or the covered hole she had dug to act as a modest root cellar.  The small farm was entirely self-sufficient, and she worked hard to keep it so. 

She applied salve daily to his wounds, which helped to heal them a great deal more quickly than they might have on their own, and she was insistent that he eat three full meals a day despite the fact that she often skipped breakfast or lunch herself depending on how long chores ran.  When he was injured while practicing carpentry, she said nothing, but her care of his healing wounds extended to that too.  She relaxed a great deal as the days passed, less on guard and more open with him, quicker to smile at things.  She worked as quickly as she could on sewing some clothing and boots for him; she had nothing but a coat that would fit him. 

As he was gaining some of his strength back, he had begun to help her—something which she greatly appreciated.  It was a lot of work, and whatever he managed to do made a large difference to her.  Currently he was chopping wood while she knelt in front of one of her hot boxes, collecting what she needed to make more of the healing salve she had been using on him.  She heard the sound of pain he made and paused, taking careful note of the posture he was holding.  She closed the box and stood, tucking her basket against her hip.

When she reached him, she gently touched his shoulder and nodded towards the cabin.  “Will you take a break with me, Woodsly?  You’ve been working hard today.”



Offline readlliea

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In and out, each breathe did send a little more pain through his sides but that was just due to the muscles moving. As much as he wanted to keep swinging the axe, his body was going to protest each time now. The hand on his shoulder drew his attention away from it and directed it to Astrid. A short sigh left him; attempting to ease some of his pain.

"Alright..." Woodsly replied, giving in since the request wasn't at all downgrading his abilities.

Woodsly had a odd way of responding to things, if he felt that he was being refered to as weak, he tended to push himself harder; something Astrid might've noticed a couple of times. So when things weren't worded like that, he tended to agree more and give in to the requests made of him to rest or let her look things over. Letting the axe's handle go, the item toppled over; still sporting the piece of wood that it was stuck to.

Back inside the house, first thing Woodsly did was remove the boots. The feel of the fur coat was nice; it was a bit tight on him but his slowly recovering body from the lack of good food back at the pits, currently allowed for it rest on him still. Something about the texture of fur was just soothing to him. This time though, he took a seat in a chair rather than then spot near the fire that he had been resting at since arriving. A look of discomfort appeared on his face as he did sit however.


Offline Firesblood

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Once they were inside Astrid poured tea, adding drops of the tincture that would soothe his pains to his cup.  She set it within his reach beside him and then crossed back to the basket she had brought inside, though she didn’t immediately dive into taking care of its contents.  Instead, she focused on him with a studious gaze, seeming to stare straight through him.  Her eyes flashed that same luminous green as before, when she had set the broken ward outside; she was using some sort of magic.  In her mind’s eye, she saw the tiny cracks in his ribs, slow healing and troublesome.  It would take the longest of all of his injuries to heal.  It was no wonder that he was in pain; chopping wood would have certainly aggravated it.   

Astrid stirred a moment later and finally removed her coat and scarf, putting them up for now.  “I wanted to talk to you about something.  You mentioned before that when you were well, you would find a place to rent nearby while you worked in town.  You’ve been a wonderful help to me these past few days, and I enjoy our conversations.  If you wanted to, you could stay here.”  She became quite fascinated with the contents of her basket then, choosing bundles and laying them out in an orderly fashion on the table. “Instead of rent, you could just help me around the farm like you have been, maybe make me some better furniture?”


Offline readlliea

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Closing his eyes as he took in slow breathes, he didn't get to see the glowing eyes she had. Though he would open them as she started to speak to him. A momentary attempt to try and relax was all he was doing, so he didn't mind hearing her voice and shifting his attention to her. As she spoke and he listened, he took the cup in his hands and took a sip.

"I'd be able to make sure you'd be safe still doing that." Woodsly started.

However he wouldn't be able to check on her easily during the day. He'd have to get a building or something in town anyway in order to sell his goods from. No one's going to buy funiture and such if it's been soiled by the heavy snow. Although she did have a lot of space out here..

"I'd have to figure out where what to do in order to sell things, that will still require some sort of building. But by staying here, it'll help with costs.." Woodsly started up again, taking another sip from cup in his hands. "Alright then. We'll do it that way then."


Offline Firesblood

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Astrid grinned.  "Great."

It was clear that she hadn't expected him to be so agreeable.  She was relieved, and more pleased than she expected to be.  Clearing her throat softly, she sobered a little and drank her tea, moving to settle herself by the fire.  She wouldn't admit it out loud, given how adamantly against being around people she was, but somettimes loneliness effected her just as thoroughly as anyone else.

"I may be able to do something to speed the healing," she added more quietly.  "It would make it easier for you to breathe..."

She was hesitant to bring it up; she hadn't offered to use magic to heal him before, but Astrid was beginning to trust him more.  She just wasn't certain how well it would be received.


Offline readlliea

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"It's not going to drain you too much, is it?" Woodsly asked.

Honestly, Woodsly was a little surprised he agreed as well. Debating more on it would've been done but..he agreed faster than he thought he would. Perhaps it was just due to him knowing that he needed to keep her safe during his vengeance? After all, she would be unable to use her magic and that was what was keeping her hidden currently. So without her magic, she'd be left wide in the opening. Taking a longer sip from his cup, it was easy to finish off what was left in one go now.

The warmth of the house finally registered to him though, so he started to remove the fur coat he kept on, merely waiting for her answer.


Offline Firesblood

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Astrid shook her head.  “It shouldn’t, no.  Sleep will recover what I’ve used easily enough, and the wards will hold without needing to be reset until late tomorrow morning.  If it will take some of your pain, it’s worth it.”

She rose from her spot near the fire and crossed back to kneel in front of him, exhaling softly in preparation.  She seemed to stare straight through him again for a moment, then with an upward glance to make certain he didn’t have a problem with it, rested her hands against either side of his torso, along where the worst of the hairline fractures were.  Her touch was featherlight, careful not to add to his pains.  Her expression was one of concentration, and her eyes once more began to glow. 

The words she spoke were nothing that he would have ever heard before, a language that sounded ancient and carried an almost palpable weight when she spoke the words.  Her hands took on the same glow as her eyes while she worked, and that light sank into Woodsly’s body.  Almost immediately, the sharpness that came with each breath he took faded, and the residual aches lessened until they were nonexistent, but she didn’t stop at his ribs.  Bruises on his skin disappeared, cuts sealed, and bullet wounds closed, leaving only the barest hint of scar tissue behind.  Almost as quickly as the light melded into him, it had drawn back to its original source. 

Unseen, hidden by thick long sleeves and the length of her skirt, his wounds spread over Astrid’s body instead.  Bruises bloomed everywhere on her skin, followed by the other partially-healed wounds she had taken from him.  Her jaw locked when her breath sent pain like knives through her chest and sides.  She silenced when the work was done, doing her best to contain the pain.  Magic always came with a price, and that price was determined not by her, but the powers that were. 

Astrid sat back carefully, keeping her breathing easy and on the shallow side.  The last thing she wanted was for him to realize what the price had been for his healing—she doubted he would approve.  She could handle it; pain was an old friend, easier born when the choice was hers to make.  At least she couldn’t be forced to give it back.  What was done was done.  She was satisfied.  “That should do it.”       


Offline readlliea

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"If you're sure then..." Woodsly started though he stopped his sentence as she approached.

Trying to brace himself, Woodsly struggled for a moment to even out his breathing as he didn't quite want to be touched where it hurt. But that was a unneeded step as Astrid took great care to not cause him more pain.  There was no point in trying to say or do anything as he sat there, seeing the strange glow that enveloped her arms and the language that left her lips was something he knew that if he were to interrupt it. It could go wrong. And it going wrong wasn't desired. The language spoken was foreign to him. As hard as he tried, he couldn't place a single word into familiarity. It was all something he didn't know.

She was right, if he knew the price she just paid, he wouldn't approved and would've protested. But he was in the dark and unaware of the price in any form. To him, she would probably just need to sleep more than usual. With her done, he took a deep breathe, in and then out. Nothing hurt. There was no aching and no sharp pain when he took a deeper breathe.

"That's probably never gonna stop being surprising." Woodsly commented.


Offline Firesblood

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Astrid smiled at his comment and gingerly rose from her sitting position on the floor, forcing her posture to be as normal as possible.  The experience offered valuable insight into what he had been enduring, and her heart ached for him.  Her admiration for him deepened as well; there were few who could have worked as hard as he had or kept themselves composed while experiencing such a wide scope of physical injury.  A lesser man wouldn’t have bothered getting out of bed.

Once she was on her feet, she gave his shoulder a gentle pat.  “Don’t ever let anyone make you doubt your own strength, Woodsly.  You have more if it than they ever will.”

It had to be said, she felt. 

Astrid fell silent then and busied herself with putting together a cold lunch for the two of them.  She found herself wondering if he would want to leave more quickly to return to Nome and begin his plans now that he was healed.  She was more confident than before that he would survive, whether he chose to accept her help or not, but she found herself hoping he would—just to make sure.   

 “I’ve also decided to help you to get your revenge, if you accept.  There are some options.  The spell I spoke of before is obviously one of the most life-altering ones, but there are other, smaller ways if you prefer.  There are sigils for strength, for protection or to steady the nerves, or for greater stealth…whatever you choose.”


Offline readlliea

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IT didn't matter in the pits if you were in pain or not, injuried and suffering. You had to get up and go to the next fight. Only to just get bounded into the ground more as you fought and struggled even if you were the winner in the end. You always took damage during a fight in some way. The hand to his shoulder and words that were given to him, kept him quiet.

Never doubt his own strength huh? The fact that she put it like that showed she was telling him he was strong. And honestly, it meant a lot. Sometimes even he had his doubts and he hated it; he hated it more when it was people pointing it out but thankfully she never said it. She had no reason to. So that at least kept his nerves steadied as he sat there, letting some other thoughts run about his head.

With the lunch being made, Woodsly let his arms rest on the table as he listened. Taking in her words with keen ears. Other ways to do it huh? Well, to be  truthful, it only made sense for him to turn into the monster that he already ways. Last thing some of those people needed to see was just what they created. Scare them straight to hell before sending em there himself.

"I do accept your help but only after you recover from the use of magic you just used." Woodsly replied as he looked to her. "First you recover, then we'll do it. Truthfully, I am still willing to do the one you mentioned before but perhaps the steal thing would help out a good bit. Even more so when getting info on them."