July 03 : Everybody knows the frog gets the girl in the end.
There are three insurmountable facts that govern the alchemies and magics of the Kailoan priestesses.
One: Feelings can be exaggerated, can be enhanced, can be swayed from one side to another--but only Kailo Herself could create love where neither friendship or hatred resided.
It is possible, if ethically lacking, to take someone from black to white, or a negative to a positive. But making a woman love a man whose name she doesn't even know is closer to turning a knife into next week than working love magic.
There is, of course, a work-around for this. The spell is an uncommon one, a taxing one. Few priestesses use it, but it does make the impossible possible.
Because of it, Bellatrix Monteqiel (or Bella Mythen, as the modern world knows her) has spent years dreaming of a black-robed priest, of serpents and black ribbons and a scarred, frightening man who loves the ruins.
Because of it, Vinseth Roth cannot remember a time he did not dream of a villa in the desert, of strong silent stone and a windswept garden.
The first thing she notices about the apartment is the five-metre snake that has twined itself around the coat rack in the foyer. Its scales are black, just this side of matte. The slitted eyes blink slower than the moon's changing phases but the fluttering tongue as it tastes her scent is faster than fire.
Then she realises how bare the place is. Silvery walls, sleek, ultra-modern furniture, just a few pieces of art (black-and-white photos, mostly, often of strange subjects, such as a pickle jar in the middle of a laundromat, but there are a few full-colour still lifes of the desert).
It is only then that she sees the medical equipment. The IV stand. The syringes laid out on an end table. The bottles and bottles of pills and medications. The scent of antibacterial cream.
There is a nurse standing next to the couch. She frowns at her patient, whom Bella cannot see, and looks away from the invisble person with something like hope in her face. "Are you Bellona Mythen?"
"Call me Bella," she says, thinking not of Bellona but of Bellatrix.
"Went through the training?"
"I have, yes."
And that's that. The nurse hands over her clipboard, briefs Bella on which treatments happen when, gathers her things, and is gone.
Two: What laws Kailo sets down or gifts She gives, only Kailo can change or take away.
Kailoan dogma does not believe in destiny or law or a Great Plan. Their goddess is whimsical as wind, ineffable as the whispering of dry grass, as fleeting and mutable as the desert sand. But there is no reversing Her will, there is no interfering with whatever she sets in motion. Not even the most powerful of Her priestesses can destroy one love to create another.
Love is whimsical, love is frightening, love is delicate, a knife-edge, such a fragile place to be. A terrifying and dizzying whirl. Love warms and burns and freezes and hiss, love ages and blossoms and in the end love dies.
And Kailo holds it sacred above all else.
Because of this, Zintzne's carefully-laid plans must wait until after Bella Mythen abandons her near-husband. The only man she has ever come so close to marrying.
Because of this, Bellatrix Monteqiel will never hold the entirety of Vinseth's heart. Some part of him will always belong to his past life, and being in love with a ghost is just as real as being in love with a woman of flesh and blood.
Three: Human nature is shallow.
Princesses do not kiss frogs unless they think they will turn into princes. The sweet, kind-hearted, unquestioning boy who has loved her from the day they met will always rank a distant second against the dark-eyed, mysterious man whose words are flickering candleflames, whose every step hints at the claws of a predator.
Of course, this can be changed. The very basic principle of Kailoan magic is to use human nature against itself. But there is no deepening the shallow heart, and there is no denying it.
The trick is to find something attractive about the prospective suitor.
Bella's sense of humour, her intelligence, her pride.
Four words Tenten never expected to hear from Ino's mouth: "You're staying, aren't you?"
She especially never expected the euphoria she feels at hearing those words. They're just four little words, but they mean so goddamn much.
She tries to find something romantic to say. Like, "Do you WANT me to?"
But instead she only nods.
A threefold surprise.
One: Tenten never