Gwyn was sitting in the main courtyard of Shade's campus, taking a moment to rest and take in the sights of the area. She was feeling a bit exhausted from all of the new changes to her lifestyle.
The heat was almost oppressive in some parts of the city. Not for the first time, she was glad she'd opted to invest in clothing infused with ice dust, as it helped ward off the heat.
As she leaned back a bit on the stone bench, she took a moment to appreciate how good things had been for her lately. Things were finally looking up. And not a moment too soon.
Destiny had wondered off from Jin for a little bit, having wanted to try to memorize the layout. She didn't want Jin, or anyone else for that matter, to have to hold her hand just because she got lost.
However, that seemed to have been exactly what she had done. She wasn't sure where she was, let alone how to get back to somewhere she was familiar with.
As she walked about, she found herself in what she was assumed was the courtyard. She had been here a few times since she had arrived at Shade, though she normally made her way here by accident, just as she had now.
She glanced around, taking notice of the woman who seemed to be sitting on a stone bench, simply enjoying the day. Not wanting to disturb her, Destiny started to head off somewhere else where when she heard a cry come from the sky.
Looking upwards, her eyes widened as she noticed three griffon flying around, seeming to circle above her. She slowly began to step backwards, feeling a bit uneasy. However, the griffon seemed to have other plans when one screeched and started to dive directly at her, the other two quickly following suit.
Letting out a startled cry of fear, Destiny quickly tried to run away to safety. Fate, however, seemed to have other plans as she gasped, falling forward as she tripped over her own feet. Using her hands to catch herself, she let out a small groan before quickly looking up, her eyes widening in fear as she noticed that the griffon were too close for to get up and get away in time.
Gwyn bolted up from her reclining position as she saw the Griffons dive at the student that had wandered into the courtyard. She ran some numbers in her head, and didn't like how they added up. A griffon in a dive that steep...it wasn't easy to stop.
She ran over her options in her head. She could try to intercept the Grimm with a ranged strike from Quotient...but with how fast they were moving, and her accuracy being somewhat lacking, it wasn't likely to work.
She could try to intercept it with her Semblance...but that brought up the same issue.
The only other option she came up with...it had the highest chance of success, but she didn't like it. She would have to expend a lot of energy, and make a deal...luckily no one else was around.
With a sigh, Gwyn shot up from the bench and ran toward the student and leapt into the air, getting between the Griffons' dive path and the student. Before she moved any further, the entire area was consumed by a blinding pinkish-white light...
Destiny closed her eyes when a pinkish-white light suddenly blinded her as it filled the area. She was unsure what was going on but she still awaited to feel some sort of pain.
When she felt nothing, her mind became curious, but her instincts told her to keep her eyes closed. So she did as her instincts suggested, as they have always have kept her safe.
She wished that she had kept Fate Weaver with her but she had caught the movement of the woman from the corner of her eye. Did she run to go get help? Did she rush in to save her? If so, was she a professor at the academy?
So many questions filled her mind. So many thoughts swarmed around. Everything mixed together into a jumbled mess and she figured it would be best to wait until the light died down at least.
When the light faded, Gwyn was gone.
Where she had been was something that just looked...bizarre.
It was shaped almost like an upside-down Venus symbol, and its body was primarily a stark white. It was surrounded by a warm, reddish-pinkish aura, and had ethereal, skeletal-looking wings. At the top of its "body" was what appeared to be a somewhat oblong, black slit. Strange symbols appeared to move around within its aura.
The creature stayed put in midair, in the Griffons' path, physically preventing them from getting to the girl. Right before they were about to hit it, the creature let loose a beam of soft-pink energy that completely engulfed the Grimm.
When it dissipated, there was no sign of them, aside from a scant few black particles of dust.
With the threat eliminated, the creature lowered itself, hovering just above the ground, and turned to face the girl.
In a distorted voice that seemed to come from everywhere and yet nowhere and full of concern, it asked, "Are you alright?"
Destiny slowly opened her eyes, looking up at the creature with a soft gasp, her eyes widening slightly. She didn't feel afraid or in danger. She felt rather calm and relaxed as she carefully sat up. Nodding her head, she took a deep shaky breath to gather herself.
"I... I'm a... alright. Th...thank you f...for s..saving me." She said rather softly.
While she did feel calm and safe, she was still sigh. She always was, especially when meeting new individuals.
She was also rather curious. Just what exactly was this creature? What had happened to the woman from earlier?
She didn't want to ask out right. She thought that it could possibly be rude. After all, they did just saved her life.
A sighing sound could be heard, in the same voice that had spoken. "Good," the voice said. "I was worried that using so much energy so quickly might have had some sort of adverse effect...luckily, that doesn't seem to be the case."
The creature turned around on the spot and looked away from the girl. The thin top of its body with the slit, what might have been counted as its head, drooped slightly, as though exhausted. "But I've gone and exposed myself..." the voice said quietly, sounding troubled.
Now that the action had died down, one could get a better look at the odd entity. The surface of its body looked like some sort of hybrid of flesh and porcelain - pure white, somewhat reflective, incredibly smooth, and yet somewhat organic-looking. It was still surrounded by the reddish-pink aura, and the wings remained. If looking at the creature from the front, one could see a large, circular aperture at the lower end. The inner surfaces of this orifice seemed to glow a soft red, but the light didn't seem to touch any other surface.
All in all, the creature was somewhat enticing, but at the same time very foreign.
Destiny slowly stood up, gently dusting herself off before slowly making her way to where she stood in front of the creature, but yet was off to the side slightly, almost as if she had positioned herself to be in the creature's peripheral view. Her eyes remained on the strange being as she tried to memorize every detail. She was entranced to say the least, but that was simply out of her natural curiosity. Perhaps she had spent way too much time with Jin.
"I...I do not m..mean to pry b...but...umm...wh...what do you m..mean by you've e..exposed y...yourself?" She asked softly.
She was a bit confused as to what the being had meant, which was honestly probably the largest understatement she had made within her time at the academy. She wasn't sure why this seemed to trouble them so much but she was sure of one thing.
This creature had saved her life. Even doing so without knowing her at all. Such a selfless act that surely put the creature in some sort of risk deserved to be paid in kind right? So the least she could do was try to ease its troubles some how. The question was though, how?
The creature sighed again, and turned back to face the girl. "Alright kiddo, story time," said the voice that had to belong to the creature, though it sounded like the same woman's voice coming from three different sources, all slightly set off from one another just enough to sound distorted.
"That woman who jumped in front of those Griffons? That was me. Or at least, my human form. This is, well, I guess it's my true form. Some of this stuff is fuzzy to even me if I'm honest. But the point is, no one knows about all this. Well. No one until you."
And now that someone else knew, the secret might spread...and that was a terrifying thought for the creature.
Destiny tilted her head slightly as she processed the information over in her head. So, the creature who saved her life was the woman she assumed was a professor at the academy? That did seem to add up with what she had witnessed before the light had blinded her.
"I...I see. Th...Though I...I do not quite u...understand wh..why it i..is such a s..secret. B...But i..it is y..your preference." She said, seeming to be mulling over the information.
She did notice that the creature seemed to be a bit uneasy when discussing the fact that she now knew what was apparently to be a secret. Why this was the case, she did not fully yet understand. However, if there was some sort of fear associated with the mere thought of someone knowing about this, what could she do to ease the creature's uneasiness?
So she didn't know...
Not surprising. It had taken hours of research to find anything in the first place, so how could this girl be expected to know?
"If word got out that I was a Succubus, it likely wouldn't go over well with the general public," the creature said. "Mainstream religion has given me and my kind a bad name just because of what we feed off of. If word got out? Angry mob, pitchforks and all. I'd have to relocate...again...but this time it'd probably be something more along the lines of witness protection. That is, assuming I wasn't locked away in some government lab..."
The creature's voice was laced with fear as it spoke. But...maybe this girl could help. "Hey," it said, with a small ounce of hope in its disembodied voice. "What's your name?"
Destiny looked up from her deep thought as she gave a small smile. How silly of her. She had yet to properly introduce herself. After saving her life and explaining so much about the situation at hand, sharing her name would be the appropriate thing to do.
"M...My n..name is D...Destiny A..Ashnah. A...And S...Succubus or n..not, it is v...very nice to m..meet you." She said, a small warm smile never once leaving her face.
She wanted to help the creature in return for saving her life. She also knew how scary certain things could be, and she didn't like the idea of someone, or something, that seemed so nice to be treated in such a harsh manner.
She wasn't exactly the religious type, so she never really figured out why so many people feared so many things. Grimm was one thing, but something like this creature? That was a whole other story. If there was a way she could help, she wouldn't hesitate. And hearing the hope in the creature's voice after hearing all of that fear only seemed to add to the drive she had to help.
So her name was Destiny...
"Nice to meet you Destiny," the creature said warmly. "My name, at least while I'm in this form, is Lust. It's very nice to meet you, too."
Well, now that ♁ had revealed ♁self, it was time to ask the question. "Destiny...I need you to do me a favor. Can you keep a secret?" Lust asked.
This was the gamble. If Destiny couldn't keep Lust's secret, then the only thing to do was flee the area and assume a new identity. And that really wasn't ideal. Lust had just gotten settled in Vacuo, and ♁ didn't even have any experience with fake ID. Therefore, ♁ was relying heavily on Destiny.
Destiny's smile seemed to grow in brightness and in warmth. She could still since a bit of concern and uneasiness, but she could also sense hope. And already knowing the answer to Lust's question immediately after ♁ had asked, she knew exactly how to help and ease that concern more.
"O..Of course I c..can. K..Keeping s..secrets is o..one of my specialties!" She said with a slight nod of her head.
It wasn't exactly true, but it wasn't a lie either. She could keep a secret. This much she was positive about. She was already keeping a lot of secrets as it was. Sure, most of them were Jin's secrets, and one of them she sort of felt was probably breaking some rule of the school's, but she kept it anyways. What would be any different about this secret?
The only thing that made her statement a lie, however, was that she didn't know if keeping secrets were her specialty. She didn't know what any of her specialties were per say. She just usually had to go with a guy feeling. That was one of the downsides to her amnesia.
But it didn't matter if it was her specialty or not as long as she kept the secret. Right?
Lust sighed. "Good," ♁ said. With that, the aura around ♁ intensified in brightness to the point where ♁'s body was completely obscured by the light.
When it faded, the woman from before stood where Lust had been, though she now had small bat wings.
"What you saw here today? What you saw me do? I need you to keep it all secret," she said, in a voice that was like a non-distorted version of Lust's. "No one can know about it, not even the Headmaster. This is all I ask of you. Just, please, don't let this secret get out!" Desperation had gotten into her voice by the time she reached the end of her sentence, and for good reason.
Destiny shielded her eyes for a moment before blinking. She looked at the woman who now stood before her and gave her a comforting smile. She sensed the desperation, and she understood why. This did seem like a pretty huge secret, but she had confidence that she could keep it.
"N..No need to w..worry! I..If I can k..keep a secret th...that m..may be breaking sc...school rules, I..I am p..positive that I can keep this one!" She said confidently.
There was nothing but the truth in her words. She knew this. She hoped that the woman would trust her as well. After all, she was often the shy quiet girl who hardly talked to anyone else. Surely that would be enough to give the woman some confidence in her as well.
The woman let out a sigh of relief. "Thank you Destiny," she said with a small smile of gratitude. "It really means a lot." And with something this big, how could it not? This was a major favor. If one knew this secret, they could likely make a profit by giving the info to the right person, and at the same time condemn her to a terrible fate.
Knowledge made for a powerful weapon, and this woman had just entrusted some of the most potent knowledge she had to someone she barely knew. She was very much relieved to know she could trust that person.
Destiny closed her eyes as she tilted her head to the left a little bit and smiled warmly.
"N..No need to thank me. I..I am just h..happy to help a...anyway I can!" She said cheerfully.
She knew how important this secret was, especially after all the information she had been given prior. She also knew that, if anyone was to figure out that she knew of this secret, that it could possibly put her in danger. If there was a rumor that went about and she was the only one who could confirm it, it could potentially put a target on her back.
She knew that this was a possibility and she knew agreeing to keep it a secret would be risky due to said possibility. But in all honesty, she didn't care. She would gladly make any sacrifice if it meant helping another. After all, everyone deserved a chance at a bright fate, didn't they? That was her personal belief and she wanted to make sure that the woman got that exact chance, no matter what it might cost her.
"Glad there's still some decent people in the world," the woman said to Destiny, her smile growing somewhat.
She had seen and had more than her fair share of misery at the hands of others in her time, and had grown used to such things. That in of itself was a frightening thought.
"Oh, and one more thing," the woman said. "In this form, I'm Gwyn Stark. Your math professor," she said with a sly grin. She supposed she should have told Destiny who she really was sooner, but shocking students with news like that was fun, she had to admit.
Destiny blinked for a moment, seeming generally surprised before softly giggling. She smiled warmly at the woman.
"R...Really? S..So that means m..my first a... assumption was correct then. W..well, I look forward to attending your c..class. I...I honestly haven't met many other professors b..but if they are all as k..kind as you, then I...I am sure I will e... enjoy my time h...here, P.. Professor Stark." She said.
There was no sarcasm in her tone and she seemed as if she genuinely meant every word. And she did. Gwyn seemed really nice and if all the professors were like her, then she might not have such a hard time at Shade. That and she was very curious as to what her class was like.
She also felt a bit more confident in herself knowing that Gwyn thought she was a decent person. She figured that, if she did, that she made a good first impression, which really made her day. Perhaps, even though she, herself, was a student and Gwyn was a professor, they could still be good friends in some way.
Gwyn could recall a time, long ago, when she had been like that. It almost seemed like another life. But now, she was anything but.
"Well, I'm glad to hear it," Gwyn said in a light tone. "I know math isn't the most exciting topic for everyone, but I'll do my best to make it somewhat engaging." She had retained some of her childhood fascination with mathematics, but didn't know if any students would share it. Deep down, she was somewhat hoping to find one who would, but doubted she'd find one.
Destiny really did seem like a decent sort. Perhaps she and Gwyn could grow to be friends. Gwyn had so few of them nowadays...usually the closest she got to a person was in the bedroom, and after that she would never see them again except in passing. It probably didn't help that she was always so...forward, in her introductions. But maybe with Destiny she would try to tone it down. It would be a mark of appreciation if nothing else; she didn't do that for just anybody.
"W...Well, m.. mathematics c...can be f.. fascinated...d.. depending on h..how you u..use it. I...I find it t...to be r...really helpful when c... cooking." She said with a smile.
And that was true. Whenever she cooked, she used what mathematics she knew to make sure she got a recipe just right. She found that, by using a little mathematics, she could balance out the flavors and make a super awesome dish. Maybe she could prepare lunch for Gwyn some day?
Destiny loved to cook for other people when she got the chance. She figured that out fast after Jin had found her. Though, she didn't have many people to cook for at the time being, and she often cooked for Jin, she thought it might be nice to cook for someone else for a change.
Gwyn chuckled a bit at the lighthearted change of subject. "Yes, it is useful in cooking," she said. "What with all the measurements. Too bad being good at math doesn't make you a good cook. I'm proof enough of that." Anyone who had ever had Gwyn's cooking (which was really only Gwyn herself) could attest to the fact that she was a terrible cook. Maybe it was just because she didn't eat human food as often as she used to because she didn't need it? Ah well, whatever it was, it didn't change the fact that she couldn't make a decent meal to save her life.
Hearing this, Destiny's eyes widened as she had, what she thought, was a brilliant idea. She wasn't entirely sure how it would come across, or the fact Gwyn didn't necessarily need to eat the same way she did. Destiny could definitely be called naive in every sense of the word.
"H...How about I....I teach you a f..few r... recipes?" She suggested.
She honestly didn't see the harm in the idea. Nor did she completely think it through. It all just registered as offering help to someone, which she often did without fully thinking, and this often lead to others taking advantage of her.
Gwyn stifled a small laugh, but couldn't hide her grin. "Oh, I guess I didn't mention," she said. "I don't get nourishment from food. I'm sustained by pure lust. I can still eat and pass food, but it doesn't do anything for me." She still did occasionally eat food, but not very often simply because she couldn't be bothered. "I appreciate the offer though," she added hastily. She didn't want to make Destiny feel bad, after all.
It had been awhile, though. Gwyn kind of missed food, but not really. Nothing could quite compare to the taste of pure, unadulterated lust, or at least she supposed. But Destiny's offer was still appreciated.
Destiny tilted her head as she blinked. A confused look had become prominent on the young girl's face. The action seemed almost adorable and the extent of her innocence began obvious as her eyes slowly widened and her pale cheeks began to take on a rosy tint.
This was all signs that the realization of what Gwyn meant was slowly sinking in. How innocent was this girl exactly? Very innocent.
She was obviously a virgin, simply because she did not have much knowledge about sex. Sure, she knew what occurred, but that was just about it. She didn't really known any details about what fully occurred. She was pretty sure she didn't even have her first real kiss.
"I..I s..see. S...Sorry...ummm....I...I fear I don't q...quite know m..much about S...Succubuses....o...or sex f..for that m..matter." She said shyly.
"B..But that's o..ok! I..It just shows that I s...still have a lot to l..learn!" She said cheerfully, despite still having a prominent blush.
Gwyn couldn't suppress her chuckles this time. Destiny's naivety was just too adorable! It may have been rude, but she couldn't help herself! She figured she should apologize either way.
"Sorry," Gwyn said once she calmed down. "Did your parents not give you 'the talk'? Because they really should have been the ones to do it."
Gwyn really couldn't believe Destiny didn't know about the birds and the bees. If she hadn't heard from her parents she should have at least been corrupted by the internet or something...
"I... It's alright." Destiny said before looking down, poking the tips of her pointer fingers together.
"Umm...also...a...about th...that....I....I d... don't remember....m...my parents....a... anything....I....I just w...woke up in the E...Emerald F...Forest one d..day and th..that was when I...I met J...Jin." She explained.
She didn't often talk about her amnesia with anyone. She didn't like how people treated her differently when she did. They often pitied her and that made her more uncomfortable than anything. The only one who didn't pity her was Jin.
Sure he was protective of her. Probably more so than any stranger should have been. But, something about that felt right, like it was natural that he was like that with her.
She suddenly realized that it might have seemed like she had sadden drastically so she suddenly looked up at Gwyn and gave a cheerful smile.
"B...But I...I also g...guess I n..never learned b.. because there h... hadn't b..been a need j...just yet." She quickly said.
Now came the time for Gwyn's eyes to go wide with shock. "Oh my god I'm so sorry," she said, her voice apologetic and full of pity. "Well...if you don't know, someone should really teach you," Gwyn said, her tone somewhat more normal. "This is vital information. And I'm not exaggerating that. You need to know about your body. I might be able to talk to the Academy's clinic and see if someone there can talk to you..."
Gwyn was actually somewhat worried for Destiny now. This was stuff she NEEDED to know. If she had amnesia, and no one had told her about the ways of the world, then what kind of state was her health in by this point?
Destiny seemed a bit surprised, gently blinking before giving a small smile. She really did appreciate Gwyn's concern.
"I...I appreciate that P... Professor S..Stark. B...But I...I wouldn't want to b..be any tr... trouble. B... Besides, s... surely the cl..clinic would prefer to f... focus on th...those w..with health issues." She said.
And that was what she generally believed. She really didn't want the clinic to waste time on her when they could be taking care of someone who really needed their attention.
Gwyn shook her head gently. This was an issue of urgent concern, and it needed to be resolved soon.
"I think this is something they'd make time for," she said. "If you don't know about your body, how can you take care of it? And besides, if they don't tell you, who will?"
She supposed if no one else could, SHE could be the one to educate Destiny on this matter...but she really, REALLY didn't want to. It just...wouldn't feel right.
Destiny seemed to consider her words carefully. She wouldn't lie, Gwyn did have a point. If she didn't know about her body, how could she fully take care of herself? She really couldn't rely on Jin for something like that.
"I...I guess y...you're r...right." She said with a small smile.
She really didn't want to be a burden. And she felt that she might be one with this whole mess. But, could she really argue with logic? Well, on occasion sure, but not this time.
Gwyn could tell that Destiny had her reservations about going to anyone for help. *Must not want to impose,* she thought.
"This sort of thing is their jobs," she said. "So, let them do their job and take care of you." She flashed a smile that she hoped was warm and caring.
Gwyn was actually getting platonically close to someone for the first time in what felt like ages. She wanted to help Destiny however she could, and this was one thing she REALLY needed help with, even if she didn't realize it. She just hoped she didn't blow it...
Destiny gently returned her smile as she nodded. She knew that Gwyn probably knew better than she did in the particular situation. Besides, she felt like she could trust her, so why not follow her suggestion?
"A... Alright P... Professor St..Stark. I.. I'll be sure t..to m..make an a.. appointment or t..talk to someone a...at the clinic. I...I promise." She said.
And she would. She did give her promise after all. And to her, promises were important. If she ever needed reassurance, she would always ask for a promise, even if it did seem childish at times.
Not for the first time that day, Gwyn let out a small sigh of relief. "Thank you," she said to Destiny. That did a lot to ease her worries. Hopefully one of the practicioners at the clinic could help the girl. Otherwise, she might have to take matters into her own hands...and that had a lot of potential to go wrong.
"I'd suggest you go sooner rather than later," Gwyn said. "Given the reason for your visit, I think they'd make an exception and give you a walk-in appointment. And even if they don't, you can still make an appointment. Do you have insurance? They'll need your information. And regardless of whether you do or not, don't worry about the cost. I'll take care of it." And she would. Gwyn couldn't explain it, but she just wanted to help Destiny as much as she could. It felt...kind of weird...but in a good way.
"Th..Thank you P... Professor St...Stark. I.... I'm sorry if I... I'm a burden. I...I really d..do appreciate the h..help. A....As for insurance....I....I fear I don't know if I h... have any or not. I...I never had a need to g...go to a clinic before." She said, seeming slightly nervous.
Which was the truth. She never had to. Jin always kept her safe and even tended to her wounds when she got hurt. And if they needed her information, that might be a problem. The only personal information she managed to figure out about herself was her name and age. She felt that Jin knew more about her personal life than she did, and he had been a stranger to her for all she knew at the moment.
Well, there was another way Gwyn could help. Luckily, since Shade was a government-run school, the price of doctors' visits without insurance weren't too high, so she could afford to pay Destiny's medical bill out of pocket.
"Don't worry about the insurance then," she said. "Or the payment. I'll take care of all that. And it's no burden at all. But thank you for the thought. I suppose it would be difficult, having never gone to something like a clinic before. Would you like me to go with you?"
It wouldn't be too much hassle. And Destiny did seem like she needed someone to show her around, anyway, especially if she'd never been to anything resembling a doctor's office before, which seemed to be the case.
"Y...Yes please." Destiny said with a sheepish smile.
She was glad that Gwyn assumed that she would not know where to go simply because she had never been to a clinic before. While that was true, it wasn't the complete truth. The rest of the truth is, even if she knew where to go, she would still get lost.
That and the thought of going somewhere completely new alone still scared her. So, she was more than happy to accept Gwyn's offer.
"P... Professor St....Stark....Th...Thank you. F...For everything." She said softly, seeming to relax a bit.
A wide smile played across Gwyn's features. "No problem," she said fondly.
In the back of her mind, she could hardly believe what was happening. She'd saved a student's life by revealing her true form, then said student had sworn secrecy, and now that student was practically her friend?!
If she didn't know better, Gwyn would say the world had gone mad!
But for now, she was just happy, so she decided to let it go. "Come on," she said to Destiny. "Let's get going. I'm a bit new here myself, so I don't know their hours, and we'll want to get there before they close."