【Ｉ】let out a sigh rolling over to my side to check the alarm. 3:27 AM and still not here huh.
The sound of the door knob rattled. I quickly pulled up the covers peeking out of a small peep hole. Eris gracefully made her way to her side of the room. I couldn't help myself from staring as I took in her charming figure. Her eyes were glowing a faint crystal blue in the moonlight that burned through the windowpane. Her hair was put up into a messy bun. There were some splotches of red stains soaking her snowy white shirt. A faint gleam glowed in her eyes as she stripped down to her bra and sweats. I spotted several tattoos and worded inscriptions that danced up the side of her arms.
"Do you like what you see?" Eris turned around, wiggling her eyebrows. Startled, I held my breath not daring to make a single move. What felt like a hot minute was accompanied by dead silence.
"I know you were watching you pervert." She let out a slight chuckle as she headed towards the bathroom. My eyes were glued to her lustrous body. I managed to choke out a croaky no as I wiped the bit of drool off the side of my mouth.
"How can someone possibly be this beautiful?" I managed to whisper under my breath as she closed the door behind her. Minutes later, she came out wearing a pair of matching midnight blue lingerie.
"Hey Scar. Mind helping me patch these up?"
"Sure." I swiftly got up grabbing several disinfectant wipes and gauze from the cabinet.
"Did you manage to talk to Martínez?" She questioned.
"Yeah, funny story actually. I found this book in the library that made me go poof. I ended up in some room with some strange pictures and writings all over the walls. I also felt this burning sensation on my back that wouldn't go away. Then out pop Martini and– "
Eris abruptly turned around and stared me right in the eyes.
"Take off your shirt" She demanded.
"Don't ya think it's a bit too late to get down and–" I managed to spew out the last couple of words before getting the air knocked out of me as I landed face first onto the bed. Eris suddenly appeared sitting on top of me. She continued to lift up my shirt staring at my naked back. I laid there tensely as I felt her soft fingertips brush against my bare skin.
What in the world is this crazy woman doing? I felt her outlining something similar to what Martínez drew earlier. A sudden jolt of fiery pain shot up as I desperately tried to free myself from under her. Eris began to shift her body weight, pinning my arms and restricting my leg movements. Immense pain coursed through my body as I gripped the sheets crying out in agony. My vision began making its way out as I continued thrashing around frantically.
Eris leaned in closer whispering ever so softly "deep breaths. Concentrate on your breathing." I clenched my fist attempting to focus my breathing. In and out. In and out. I gritted my teeth even harder, staying perfectly still. What felt like a solid half hour, my line of vision started becoming clearer. I exhaled heavily as I finally got to relax my tense muscles.
"You have a beautiful mark." Eris murmured, tracing whatever huge outline that was on my back. A soft moan slipped out of my mouth as each stroke she made sent shivers up my spine. My body felt tingly as she started to massage the surface of my back. A brief image flickered in my mind. An enormous, majestic shadowy creature that sat proud and tall with a pair of glowing amber eyes that bore into mine. It wore a beautiful striped coat and had razor sharp teeth.
"A celestial beast..." I gasped in astonishment.
"Scarlet. Do you happen to know the story of the Dragon and the Tiger?"
I laid there staring into space too absorbed in my thoughts. "Uh... I think I remember someone telling me a story about them. Not too sure..." My voice drifted off as I tried to recall what I just saw.
"I'll keep it brief since it's already 5:13 AM. The Tiger and Dragon, both very powerful spirits. Both so wildly different, yet so similar in ways that they perfectly complement each other. Eons ago, there was a growing country called Okutoru. Both spirits have been highly praised for bringing balance, luck, and prosperity to the land and to the people. Rumors had it that every once in a black moon, someone was worthy of receiving the spirit's blessing. These blessings grant the power and abilities that's far beyond wild imagination and what man can comprehend. These beings who possessed the spirit's blessing were granted the title, The Ancient. However, many of the citizens grew jealous of that power and hunted down all of the Walkers because they were seen as a threat. This angered the spirits causing them to cast a curse upon the land and its people for generations to come."
"Entertaining story. It was really something." I yawned sheepishly as I started to drift off. My body jolted upwards as I felt two fingers poke my sides.
"What?!" I glared.
"Don't make me discipline that attitude of yours. I wasn't done yet. There's a piece of advice that will be of great help. For the mark, you will eventually learn how to control and bring forth its power. However, there will be times where it'll randomly make its appearance along with that burning sensation. Your job right now is to learn how to control it. A neat trick that I picked up from Martínez are the symbols Aparada and Disparada. These are two very basic symbols that you should know. They will allow you to temporarily force the mark to appear and disappear. Back when you were with Martínez, he symbolled Disparada. This suppressed the pain of the mark, which will then go away. It takes practice. Once you're good enough, you can make it appear and disappear without having to symbol anything."
"Alright. Doesn't sound too bad." In fact, it sounds easy. It shouldn't be too hard. I thought.
Eris continued, "lastly, I highly advise you to keep your mark a secret. Since you have the blood of The Ancients running through your veins, the spirits have already granted you the ability to disguise your marking. Obviously, you will need to practice and meditate to achieve it. That's all I have to say for now. You better get some sleep before class starts."
"I was trying to sleep, but you wouldn't let me. Now, get off me you fat chump." I playfully shoved her off the side of the bed.
Eris vanished, suddenly appearing on top of me. She stared me down with a devilish smirk on her face as she leaned closer. I felt her warm breath bush against my ear whispering “don’t lie. I know you liked it. That moaning you made earlier music to my ears. ”
I felt my face boil red as I kicked her off the bed burying myself under layers of blankets.
"Don't be shy, do it some more" She teased.
Don't be shy, do it some more. I mocked after her. I gave it a moment of silence until I regained enough composure to speak.
“ Ahem… I know we’ve been talking a lot about my mark. I was wondering what yours was.” I questioned.
“That will be a story for another day. Goodnight Scar. Better get all the sleep you can because tomorrow’s going to be brutal.”