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Joined: 16-September 13
Last Seen: Dec 11 2013, 01:48 PM
Local Time: Apr 27 2017, 01:50 PM
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Nov 21 2013, 10:48 PM
Now, most times that Soren wasn't needed by Leo, or when Leo did stuff that was all above Soren's head, he had some unwelcome free time. This moment was in the midst of one of those things. Leo was off doing something very, very important that Soren didn't even try to understand. Making alliances, creating bounded fields, and all the other complex things he did. Soren wasn't exactly helpful at those times, and often found it best to sometimes simply leave him to his work, so he didn't screw anything up or make Leo feel obligated to pay attention to him.
So here he was, just kind of wandering around the Castle. That's all he ever really did in his free time. Mostly because it was all there really was to do: There wasn't much in the way of entertainment, and it's not like he was going to practice a craft he despised. Besides, walking around the castle and mentally mapping it was relaxing, almost soothing. It reminded him of home, but with an entirely new Castle to explore. Most of which he had. His odd way of passing time had made him incredibly familiar with the many halls and rooms of the fortress.
So when he heard a rather loud noise, he was quite puzzled.
Usually nobody was in this part of the Castle. The help generally kept out the way and in the main social areas, which Soren avoided. So who the bollocks was in this out of the way room?
He approached the door, slowly pushing it open as he peeked inside. Didn't see anyone yet. He fully opened the door, stepping inside as he heard the noise again. It was loud, and now that he was close, it was coherent. Like words. It was a someone, for sure. But he only heard one voice. He stepped into the room, looking around nervously as he spotted the source of the noise: A large woman. A very large woman. A very, very large woman.
Shit, one of the Servants.
That was the only conclusion he could make. It was his first time meeting the large servant, and since it wasn't Saber, he could only assume it was the other one: Berserker. Great, just what he needed. And to make it better, she was talking to what appeared to be... nothing. And against his better judgement, his mouth instantly flew to asking a question.
"Uh, who are you, like, talking to?"
His hands flew across his mouth as he realized he had asked aloud. One of the downsides of suddenly gaining the ability to talk: Sometimes things that would have only been thoughts previously now seemed to just... slip out without him quite meaning to.
Stupid, Stupid, Stupid!
Sep 16 2013, 04:33 PM
True Neutral [Neutral Good]Servant:
110 lbsPicture: Appearance Description:
Standing at roughly 5'2 and weighing about 110 lbs, Soren at first glance looks like a small, unassuming figure. With a thin figure, pale white skin, combined with his short black hair and dark gray eyes, most people assume Soren to look sickly or feeble at first glance. Physical examination would reveal that his internal organs seem slightly abnormal in function at nearly all times; Not enough to adversely effect his health, but enough that a physical examination from a Doctor would raise some flags due to the odd nature of his health.
Upon close examination, Soren body actually is very fit for it's size. It has very little excess body fat, and thin but dense muscle structure. He doesn't look like a model in any sense of the word, but he isn't nearly the fragile figure most would assume upon first seeing him. There are several small scars across his body, remnants of deformities long since healed or removed via magical rituals and experiments. One particular scar is evident on his neck, and Soren will usually use it to explain away his displeasure for speaking. His magical crest appears on his back, between his shoulder blades, and seems to be faded and missing portions due to it's incomplete nature. The crest glows whenever Soren uses his Magical Circuits, but at all other times seems small and unassuming.
Soren generally wears a white, hood less and sleeveless cloak that covers the entirety of his upper torso and arms, and reaches down to his thighs. While he generally doesn't bother to wear a shirt beneath it, if he does for one reason or another it will generally by a plain white t-shirt simply for decencies sake, as Soren has absolutely zero sense about fashion or "looking nice." He wears grey trousers that cover the entirety of his legs, and two black slip-on shoes. He almost always carries around his Mystic Mark, a short sword wrapped in black or white cloth, on his person, generally concealing it underneath his cloak. It is usually attached or holstered to his pants, but sometimes he will just carry it himself beneath it, or wrap it inside a portion of his cloak and keep it there. He also keeps a notebook and pen on him at all times, to communicate with others when he refuses to speak.
N/AMagic Circuit Count:
46 Magical Circuits due to rather unfortunate experimentations as a child, but with slightly sub-average prana count of 19 units per circuit, giving a maximum output of 874 on his own. The false crest he was implanted with provides 13 circuits with an above-average 31 units of prana per circuit, giving an additional 434 units. Total, this adds up to about 1,308 maximum units of prana.Abilities:
~ Mystic Eyes of Binding(False):: Articially created Mystic Eyes, they are much stronger than the usual variant of Mystic Eyes of Binding, but pay for this strength by putting great strain on Soren, limiting their use. While Soren's Mystic Eyes are extremely potent in ability, they are incredibly limited in function and time. When activated, Soren's eyes grow black and red, and all those who meet his gaze are paralyzed, losing the ability to move, look away from Soren, or accumulate Prana to cast spells. Like with other Mystic Eyes of Binding, the effect can be reduced by running Prana through Magical Circuits to restore mobility. However, due to the more powerful nature of the eyes, the effects can only be mitigated, not dispelled. Prana can still be run through the Circuits to lessen the effects, but the eyes cause extreme interference, dampening their ability to move to more sluggish levels and formulate spells. Lesser Magi, or Magi not used to the effects, will be unable to cast spells entirely, while those who know what to expect or with incredibly high magical proficiency will merely have their spells take longer to cast and become less efficient, in terms of Prana and Effectiveness, for as long as Soren is gazing upon them.Skills:
Due to the stress the eyes place on Soren, he can keep them active for no more than 10 minutes in an hour. Maximum effective range of 30 or so feet. Additionally, the additional strength of the eyes removes the weakness of becoming weak to other Mystic Eyes while they are active; But instead, Soren is slightly more vulnerable to other Mystic Eyes at all times the eyes are NOT activated.
~ Rothenberg Crest [Replica] :: Soren was given an incomplete replica of the Magical Crest of his famiy; While he acquired a respectable amount of artificial magical circuits from this, he did not gain any of the stored knowledge and spells usually passed with a Magical Crest. This combined with his already large number of Magical Circuits as a result of rituals preformed on him growing up cause him to have an absurdly massive store of Prana, with very little ability to utilize most of it directly. This incomplete Crest also prevents him from ever obtaining a true Magical Crest.Tools:
~ Thaumaturgy:: Soren pretty well sucks at modern Thaumaturgy, but he has some technical knowledge about it. While he has a large amount of Magical Circuits and prana available, he is almost completely inept at casting and executing complex spells on the fly, limiting him to very basic forms of magecraft, and Formalcraft. He only knows two spells of actual Magecraft, and a limited ability to use Reinforcement, and cannot use more complex spells nearly at all. Soren is also capable of some Ritual and mental magic, but these are either passive in the case of the latter or require a great deal of preparation in the case of the former, to the point where he rarely if ever uses them. His large number of Magical Circuits also give him an incredible level of Resistance to modern magecraft.
~Hand to Hand Combat:: Soren has basic knowledge of hand to hand combat, and is rather proficient at it- For someone with very, very little combat experience outside of training, that is. While he does not have a formalized style like some others, and seems rather uncouth while fighting, the nature of rituals preformed on him have given him physical proficiency past that of an fit, fully grown human, allowing him to overcome most obstacles without needing to rely on anything but force. It is not that he has no knowledge of complex combat styles, simply that he very rarely ever has to use it, and as such has little real-world experience with it, making it's use unreliable at best, and pretty much useless at worst. This also applies to his skills with a short sword.
~ Schwert der Stille [Sword of Silence] :: An heirloom and Mystic Code of the Rothenberg family, given to Soren by his sister. This short sword, rather than be sheathed, is constantly seen wrapped in cloth bandages instead, generally either pure white or pure black in nature. The blade can be activated even without unwrapping it's cloth "sheath", and is generally used as such. When activated, the Blade hides the users presence from nearby persons, hiding their Prana from detection from other Magi, and causing people to "not notice" him. By this, it means that while people can see Soren, they are mentally motivated to not acknowledge that he is there, allowing him to move unnoticed through crowds of people. While trained Magi can see through the enchantment if they know to look for it, average people cannot. Even those who see through the blade and are consciously aware Soren is there, while able to see and conceptualize that Soren is there, will have there focus greatly reduced while they attempt to look at him or target him with spells, their eyes naturally focusing on things around him rather than him and making targeting him or keeping their attention on him difficult.Spells:
The Blade can also be used in combat and is qualified as a magically enchanted and fortified blade, allowing to cross blades with other Mystical Crests and remain unscathed.
~ Weiß Pfeil [White Arrow] :: [D->B] Single Action -> Three Verse. The only offensive magical spell Soren can preform, this spell creates a thin beam of white prana, roughly an inch or slightly under in width, that travels towards it's target at extreme speed. This spell can be cast quickly, and while it is simple, it is also effective, capable of piercing targets at medium range[Roughly 20 feet], through minor physical and magical defenses. This spell has three different verses to increase the number of Lancers[Max of 8], the Range of the spell[Max of 50 Feet], and the piercing power of the lancers respectively. Each line of a verse added to the casting of the spell increases that respective trait, and the spell can be up to Three Verse [B-Rank] by combining all three full verses, but doing so increases the casting time and prana required to use the spell.
~ Weiß Schild [White Aegis] :: [D->B] Single Action -> Three Verse. The only defensive spell Soren can preform, this spell creates a thin circular shield of prana to defend him from magical attacks. This spell can be cast quickly as a single action, and while it is simple, it is effective as doing it's job. The spell's strength, size, and longevity can be increased by reciting lines of Three Verses. Like the Prana Lance, can have a max strength of Three Verse [Rank B] by reciting all Three Verses, but doing so takes additional time and prana.
~ Reinforcement:: Soren is capable of using Reinforcement extremely effectively, but only on his own body. He lacks the ability to reinforce foreign objects, but is capable of using it on himself to greatly increase his own strength, speed or durability, temporarily. Due to the nature of the various rituals preformed on Soren, he is capable of reinforcing his own body well past the usual limits of normal Magi, allowing him to achieve temporary but incredible levels of strength, speed, and durability, far outmatching most average humans and magi. These bursts usually only happen for seconds at a time, due to the strain they place on his body.
~ Telepathic Touch :: A unique type of mental magic Soren has developed, with help from his elder half-brother, to overcome his inability to speak fluidly and pleasantly. Upon coming into physical contact with someone, Soren can project thoughts, emotions, feelings and images directly into their mind. This does not go both ways and Soren has no direct access to anyone else's thoughts, even if he is touching them. Continuous contact however, would let Soren push unwanted thoughts, images and emotions into a target's brain through direct touch, allowing him to incapacitate people by overwhelming their mind with emotions, sensations, or images and noises.
If Soren possesses a direct prana or mental link to someone else, such as a Servant, this strengthens the bond, allowing for fluid mental communication between them without the need for direct contact.
True Neutral: While Soren leans towards Neutral Good, his lack of real world experience and prejudice towards Magecraft [And Sometimes humans in general] qualifies him as True Neutral instead. Generally speaking, Soren is a very nice and "good" person, and does his best to be kind to others whenever he can. While he is a kind person at heart, he is sometimes ignorant of the damage his actions can cause to others in pursuit of his own goals and self-satisfaction, and sometimes purely unwilling to acknowledge his own wrong-doings. Additionally, he bears a prejudice against Magecraft as a whole, and is usually less polite and kind and more passive-aggressive to Magi. This is not to say he can't befriend Magi, but he will generally assume the worst of them until proven otherwise, and is generally wary of trusting them.Character Color:
He Who Must Not Be Heard: Not so much that Soren can't talk, but due to his malformed vocal chords, his voice used to sound guttural and hoarse, and wasvery unpleasant to hear. Even though his voice is relative fixed now, his generally shy nature and conditioning to hate speaking makes hearing him talk relatively rare. As such, Soren detests his voice, viewing it only as a tool to be used for Magecraft- Something else he is not particularly fond of. To avoid this he has come up with a telepathic way of communicating with those he is in direct physical contact with [See Magical Spells] and carries around a small notebook to write in, for when communicating via the former method is unwise or cumbersome. Due to his silent nature, he is often seen as the Stoic, or as a Mute.
Stepford Smiler: Mosty Type A, with some hints of Type C. While Soren appears to be rather cheery at a glance, smiling and polite most of the time, he has some deep-seeded issues. Mostly the "my family are assholes and used Magecraft to ruin my life" and the whole "I have maybe a year left to live" things weighing on him nearly constantly. Because of this he is slightly depressed and unstable internally, and can get rather unstable and irritable about these things. He bears a hatred of Magecraft and most of those who practice it, and can even show uncharacteristic cruelty and brutality when provoked, or when he feels threatened. To a lesser extent, he is somewhat jealous of regular humans, and carries some lingering resentment about their "easy" lives.
Naive Newcomer: Soren has lived a very isolated life, and has very little real world experience. As such, he is often socially awkward whenever he is actually placed into a social situation; But not in the sense that he is rude, but that he is overly polite to almost everyone he meets. [As polite as somebody can be without ever wanting to speak.] His views of right and wrong are sometimes skewed, and he sometimes comes off as callous or cold about things due to his isolated life style and not understanding that certain actions are considered immoral or unacceptable to others. However, once he is corrected he will take such advice to heart and do his best to avoid such "mistakes" in the future. Similarly though, he can be "corrected" that something isn't actually all that bad, and manipulated fairly easily by those he trusts.
Beware The Nice Ones: Soren is actually a very nice person, if not slightly emotionally unstable. However, due to his repressed issues [Mostly from being a Stepford Smiler], "restraint" isn't a very big thing for him. When provoked to combat, or when he decides to take action, he can be rather... extreme about it. He doesn't have much concept of mercy, and can sometimes prove to be brutal or cruel in his methods.
Undying Loyalty: Soren is this to Leo. Since Leo kind of saved his life and everything, Soren feels indebted to him to the point where he can usually be found following him around doing whatever Leo tells him to do. While he may question Leo about the morality of some of his orders, he trusts Leo almost completely and as such will do pretty much whatever he tells him.
Leo, his Sister, the world.Dislikes:
Magi, Dying, Magecraft.Natural Enemy:
People who threaten Leo.Hobbies:
Following Leo around like some lost puppy.Parents:
Father[Adrian] - Alive. Mother- Deceased.Relatives:
Brother - Deceased. Sister - Alive.Significant Other
The Rothenberg are an ancient German family of Magi. They predate many now-prominent families, and retain a large amount of influence [As much as any other prominent house] in the Mage's Association due to their ancient nature. However, unbeknownst to most of their compatriots, the Rothenberg's faced a crisis. Their lineage was dwindling. Despite their attempts to keep the blood line pure, and to cultivate stronger Magi with each new line, the potential of each successive generation had begun to dwindle. After three generations of this, they resolved to find a solution.
They began experimenting with ways to artificially strengthen Magi, outside of the knowledge of the Mage's Association itself, wanting to keep the problem itself as secret as possible. Experiments of all kinds were developed and preformed; Attempts to replicate Magical Crests, attempts to create Homunculi, Rituals to increase Magical Circuits and all numbers of Magical Codes were created in an attempt to bolster their bloodline. However, this posed the problem of who the experiments would be tested on. To overcome this issue, the Rothenberg started to adopt children from other minor families, whom already had heirs for their magical crests. These children were often adopted as Branch Members of the family, and used to determine which rituals were "safe" for members of the main family, and which were not. Soren's mother was one such child.
Soren's mother was lucky in that she caught the eye of the soon-to-be-head of the Rothenbergs, Adrian; For a time, at least. They were lovers growing up, but that was all they could ever be. As part of their attempts to keep the bloodline pure, Adrian's fiance was picked for him. Doing his duty as a Rothenberg, he married his chosen bride without complaint, squashing his personal feelings in exchange for doing his duty. Soren's mother became nothing more than a Mistress, one that Adrian's wife and father both disapproved of. But as Adrian became the head of the family, they could do nothing more than give empty complaints. Until Soren was conceived, that is.
Adrian's father saw this as an opportunity, and with support from Adrian's wife, Adrian assented to their demands. Soren, even as an unborn child, was seen as an opportunity to strengthen the bloodline. Soren was subjected to extensive rituals, even inside his mother's womb, designed to increase his potential as a Magi once he was born. However, these rituals were extremely experimental, and as such had several... adverse effects. Both on Soren, and on his mother. In the end, the rituals were largely a success- Soren was born with an incredibly large number of Magical Circuits, and more potential as a Magi than the Rothenberg had seen in generations. However, the rituals also adversely effected his eyes and vocal chords, and he was born blind and mute.
Soren's mother fell into a catatonic state after he was born, as a result of the rituals. Adrian, Soren's father, was disgusted by the tiny, deformed baby, and as such gave him willingly to his grandfather for experimentation, under the condition he would either fix the child's deformities or keep him out of his sight. Adrian's father took the child and set him as a "special case", to receive the most well-tested and effective rituals. Constant Magecraft and Rituals were required just to keep Soren alive for several months after his birth, due to his adverse effects on his internal organs.
Eventually, Soren was stabilized, but the rituals did not cease. Constantly they tried new enchantments and rituals upon him, hoping to expand his magical prowess further, but most proved fruitless. Frustrated, they began to shift their efforts to physically strengthening him, and overcoming his frailty. For years he was raised as a neglected child, kept almost entirely alone, without the ability to see or speak. Several servants were charged with caring for him and did so as needed, but most showed him nearly no affection outside of what was needed.
When Soren was roughly four years old, his mother finally passed away, never emerging from her Catatonic state. As if suddenly reminded of Soren's existence, Adrian came to visit Soren, and was once again disappointed with his son. Though now physically fit and with a great number of Magical Circuits, he seemed to show no signs of skill in putting his massive stores of prana to good use; He had the potential, but he lacked talent. Adrian commanded Soren's grandfather to find a way to restore his eyes and vocal chords to functioning condition, and departed.
Soren experienced hatred and true pain for the first time the next day. Rather than fix his eyes, neglected for so long, Soren's grandfather instead had them forcibly removed, and replaced with artificial mistake eyes, taken from one of their failed attempts at creating a Homunculi. At the same time, he fixed his vocal chords, but only to the point where they were workable, still rough and uncouth sounding, only functional enough to use Magecraft. As a final touch, his Grandfather decided to implant on Soren one of their many attempts at creating a duplicate of the families Magical Crest. While the attempt to apply it was successful, the crest proved to only provide the majority, not all, of the usually added Magical Circuits, and none of the knowledge that came with it. In addition, the process turned out to be excruciatingly painful for Soren, a memory he still harbors to this day.
At this point, Adrian returned for Soren, and while he officially adopted him as his son, he practically ignored him at all times, concerning himself only with his own work. This left him at the mercy of Adrian's wife, who detested Soren as the child of Adrian's lover. However, she was not physically cruel to Soren, so much as she simply ignored and rejected his existence, throwing his illegitimacy in his face and crushing him morally and emotionally. The rituals continued, with or without Adrian's knowledge, Soren never found out.
However, it was at this point that Soren also met Adrian's two other children, his elder half-siblings. The eldest of the two, his brother, and heir to the family, regarded Soren with casual indifference; Not any of the malice Adrian's wife seemed to harbor for Soren, but neither did he feel any real attachment to his new found sibling. Adrian's other child, Soren's elder sister by about two years, absolutely adored her new found "little brother", and became his first and probably only friend. Soren quickly became attached to his sister, which did not go unnoticed by Adrian.
Now, Adrian absolutely doted on his daughter, and since she wasn't going to become Heir to the family, had decided to keep her in the dark about the families use of Magecraft. So whenever she and Soren grew close, Adrian paid Soren a visit, impressing upon him the absolute need to keep Magecraft a secret from her; and the Consequences if he did not. Additionally, he warned Soren to never take her into the Castle's Depths, where Magecraft was preformed, and told him that neither he nor her should ever go into the Catacombs beneath the Castle, for their own sake. Soren agreed, for her sake.
As the years went by, Soren slowly matured toward becoming a teenager. His life fell into a pattern, contained almost entirely within the large castle his family inhabited. Very rarely did he get to see the outside world, but he often heard of it from his sister. Attempting to keep her out of the world of Magi, Adrian often sent his daughter on vacations around the world, both to please her and to keep her away from the Castle itself, where Magecraft was practiced nearly constantly. Thus, Soren's time to see her became less and less, and more and more of his time was diverted to either walking aimlessly, fruitlessly attempting to be taught Magecraft by the servants, or being the subject of more seemingly fruitless rituals and experiments. At this point in his life, nary 1% of the rituals they attempted to further bolster Soren seemed to have any effect at all; His body had hit the peak that they could expand it to with their experimental rituals. Worse yet, they couldn't seem to teach him anything beyond basic Magecraft, despite his incredible potential.
It was during one of these times, when Soren was roughly twelve, that Adrian's father, Soren's grandfather, came to personally visit Soren. Still distrustful and hateful of the man, Soren reluctantly accompanied the man when he bade him to visit the Catacombs with him, without the knowledge of any of the castle's servants. While Soren's brother knew of their trip, he did nothing to stop their grandfather, and so Soren was led down into the depths of the Catacombs. And there, thing's changed.
Soren had always been a gentle individual; He had been given basic self-defense lessons, both physically and magically [Though only the physical part seemed to stick], but had never had much cause to ever actually fight anyone; Nor did he ever think he could get away with fighting with anyone. He was considered the lowest of the siblings, and knew that he tread on thin ice as far as his position in the family was concerned, so generally tried to stay clear of causing trouble, leading him to be polite and over apologetic for most everything, no matter his personal feelings. But some things make you forgot rational thought and reason, and what Soren saw was one of these things.
The Catacombs were where they kept the failures. Those where experiments had proved too much for them, or where the adverse effects had grown out of control. Most had been children when the experiments had gone out of control, deforming them into hideous abominations and chimera, only kept alive as guinea pigs for further experiments. Soren threw up, at the sight of them, but his grandfather made him look. Soren's grandfather was enraged at how he was treating Soren as a child, when he was "no better than the abominations in those cages", and even more so about his keeping his daughter out of Magecraft when the family legacy was on the line, and still dwindling. As it turned out, Soren's half sister had an amazing natural-born ability to be a Magi; But as the eldest son had already received the true Rothenberg crest, Adrian had decided to not involve her anyway.
If the old man had ended his tirade there, things might have been different. Soren may have slinked off to his own corner of the castle as he usually did and merely nursed his sorrow and disgust in silence. But then his grandfather told him the worst of all; He informed Soren that the adverse effects of the rituals, while physically were all fixed and repaired, had drastically lowered his life span; He would not live to be twenty years of age. Adrian had known, hell even many of the servants had known. But they had kept it secret from him. As a matter of fact, Adrian's father had only decided to formally adopt Soren after learning this, knowing he would probably perish as a result of these experiments; Despite his love for Soren's mother, Soren only mattered for so long as he could contribute the family, and without the need of an heir or a servant, could only have been useful as a test subject. If that meant he would die early, so be it.
Soren snapped. He took his grandfather by surprise, stunning him before he had a chance to react. Then, Soren took his time breaking every bone in his grandfathers body, before killing him. It was only minutes after, as Soren stood over the broken and bloody corpse, that he realized what he'd done. He panicked, and in a frenzy, threw it in one of the cages with the chimera, and fled to his own section of the castle, where he remained isolated for days. Here, alone and refusing to venture to the rest of the castle, he was left alone by most of the servants and his brother, and had time to think to himself. It was then, nursing his sorrow and disgust at the Rothenberg family as a whole, as well as his own situation, that Soren's hatred of Magecraft reached it's peak. Unable to cope with his own mortality, and horrified at what he viewed as the products of Magecraft, Soren's hatred of Magecraft festered and grew, and from there began to fester out to all Magi, and even humans in general. His identity crisis as a human being only grew worse in his isolation, driving him mad with grief and rage.
It was days before Soren's brother came to visit him. Realizing what Soren had done, his brother confronted him about it. Soren lashed out, but his brother was not caught by surprise like his grandfather had been. He easily subdued Soren, and admonished him for his reckless behavior. Soren angrily declared his hatred for Magecraft, and his family, and everyone who had betrayed him, knowing of his short lifespan and broken status but never telling him. Soren's brother however, had no knowledge of Soren's reduced life-span, as neither his mother nor Adrian had ever told him of such. Soren's brother released Soren, and in one of the only displays of affection he ever showed Soren, told him to clean himself up and act like nothing had happened. The next day, Soren's brother contact Adrian and told him and his wife that their grandfather had been killed by one of the subjects in the Catacombs, and completely covered the mess up.
Soren was touched by his brother's actions, diffusing much of his hatred toward the world and people in general. He retained some of his hatred for Magecraft, viewing it as the cause for his cursed short lifespan and the terrible lives those in the Catacombs had to live, but could do naught about it. And so he carried on; Without his grandfather around, the experiments became less effective and less frequent, until all tests on Soren were abandoned almost indefinitely. They continued attempting to teach him Magecraft, but his talent's did not improve much beyond basic knowledge and spells. He was additionally trained in physical combat, but his remarkable physical strength and agility put him ahead of most of the Magi who were trying to teach him, so it was deemed satisfactory and abandoned. While Soren kept to training himself physically, it was more out of boredom than diligence.
The Rothenbergs had originally planned to send Soren's elder brother to participate in the fifth Holy Grail war, developing an interest in it shortly after the conclusion of the fourth. However, just before Soren's elder brother was set to depart, he died, under mysterious circumstances. Every member of Soren's family, especially Soren himself, was heartbroken and stricken with grief at the loss, and no replacement could be made to be sent in his stead, so they let the opportunity slip by them. At this point, Adrian returned to the castle himself to manage affairs directly, and began to make some changes.
With the loss of the heir, the Rothenbergs had to find someone else to inherit the magical crest. Soren's faulty replica prevented him from being compatible with the true crest, so he could not be chosen. Although it grieved Adrian greatly, he decided to make his daughter the new heir, and bring her into the world of Magi. To say she was shocked at the revelation would be an understatement, she was enraged at being kept in the dark so long, feeling betrayed and lied too. Even Soren was not exempt from her anger, and when he attempted to placate her rage and grief, she lashed out, telling him that she detested him and never wished to see him again. Soren was deeply wounded by the conversation, and once again retreated into isolation. However, his father, Adrian, had other plans.
Now that Soren's eldest brother was dead, and Soren's sister still needed to be trained, Adrian had to incorporate Soren into his plans. He put Soren through rigorous training, more intensive than any he had gone through previously, but still refused to treat Soren with anything more than casual disdain During this time, Soren confronted Adrian about his own shortened lifespan, but Adrian brushed it off, telling him it was a problem for later, even if Soren didn't see it that way. Additionally during this time, Soren began to be sent out on "missions" by Adrian; Most relatively minor things, but all with supervision from servants of the Rothenberg household. And while Soren did not realize it, Adrian and the servants slowly began to influence Soren's moral compass, leading him to accept that more and more morally grey things were "acceptable" in the pursuit of their goals. Without his sister to correct his morals, he slowly became more and more acclimated to this morally grey mindset.
Finally, almost two years after Soren's brother died, Soren's father sent him off on his own; But not out of goodwill. The Rothenbergs had collected a debt to the Harwey family over the course of Soren's life, and they had decided to pay it by offering Soren's "services" for whatever they needed. Although Soren had no idea what that might entail, realizing it was either him or his sister and his father would never allow his Sister to be the one to go, regretfully accepted. Just before he left, Soren was intercepted by his half-Sister, and the two reconciled before Soren's departure to the Harwey's.
Upon entering their service, Soren was met with a much different situation than he had expected. During a chance encounter with the heir of the Harweys, Leonardo Harwey himself, the young heir was made aware of Soren's rather unfortunate health conditions. And to Soren's surprise, Leonardo offered his complete services in curing Soren. Although Soren thought such a thing impossible, he was also unaware of the pure scope and influence the Harwey family wielded; All of which was at Leo's disposal. Eventually, through both extensive medical and ritualistic operations, Soren's body was mostly healed. While his life span would never recover to what it once was, his body was no longer a ticking time bomb, capable of simply falling over dead at any moment.
Moved at these actions, Soren pledged his undying loyalty to the young heir, and now more often than not is found simply following him around doing whatever he is bid.
Soren idly wondered, hanging his head in distraught shame. Years of spending nearly all of his time within the same castle had not gifted him with the ability to read a map, so the extended piece of paper in front of him seemed practically useless. He scanned his surroundings, looking for some way of identifying where he was. How was he supposed to find anything in this city like this, without nearly any way to identify where he was? As far as he could tell, he was in some tiny neighborhood, probably in the slums of the city. Which was the exact opposite side of the city that he wanted to be on.
A thought occurred to him, and Soren timidly turned the map on it's side, confirming his suspicion. He hadn't even been looking at the map correctly. His head tilted back as he averted his gaze to the sky, letting out a frustrated sigh. Soren had made his way into Fuyuki City, but was having a hell of a time actually trying to find anything. He had yet to even run into another Magi, staying on the outskirts of the city as much as he could. And because he doubted he would be able to make his way around the inside of the city, if he couldn't even read a damn map yet.
"Excuse me mister, are you lost?"
Soren turned his head, silently cursing to himself for letting someone sneak up on it. A small girl, probably not a day over ten years old, was staring at him with wide, auburn eyes. She turned her head curiously at him, as Soren looked down to acknowledge her. He nodded his head briefly in acknowledgement; As silly as it seemed to ask a child for directions, Soren didn't have much of a choice in the matter.
"Where are you trying to go?"
Soren briefly pointed at a part of the map.
"Uh, I don't know much about maps."
That made two of them, Soren supposed.
"Can't you just tell me where you're trying to go?"
Soren flinched momentarily, before shaking his head. As the girl began to inquire why, he pointed towards his neck, indicating the scar there. The girls eyes narrowed in puzzlement, before widening in realization. Her eyes turned downcast, as if in shame or sorrow.
Soren felt guilt well up inside of him, pulling out his notebook from beneath his cloak, drawing her attention back to him. He produced a pen from inside the notebook, and opened it to a blank page. There were several moments of silence between them as he scribbled in the notebook, before completing his message. He turned the notebook, showing the girl what he had written.
I'm looking for the Kotomine Church. I'd appreciate it if you could tell me where that is?
The girl seemed to contemplate this for a moment, before nodding her head enthusiastically.
"Mhm! It's off downtown; That way!"
The girl pointed in a direction that seemed to be North-West, as far as Soren knew. Not particularly helpful, since she didn't seem to know the distance or how to actually get there, but Soren couldn't ask for much more from the child, that was probably all she knew about it. He produced his pen once more, writing down just below the first message. He turned the book so she could see it, smiling at her sincerely.
Thank You for your help.
The girl smiled up at him, nodding her head as she grinned at him.
"You're welcome, Mister!"
The girl smiled at him nodding, before apparently deciding that the conversation was now resolved, and skipping back over to a house that he assumed she lived in. As she rounded the corner and disappeared around the house, Soren visibly relaxed. So people really did just start conversing with each other like this, without some hidden agenda. It was something Soren was still getting used to, and every time someone spoke to him he felt a small part of him whispering that it was all a trick, that they all had some ulterior motive. It was silly, he realized, but he had half expected the girl to be a familiar, or a Magi trying to surprise him, and that would have been incredibly unfortunate.
After all, he would have hated to have to snap her neck.
[CODE*]One Last God Kubera