Grave was not one known for brooding. He wasn't certain what was so appealing about it - most of the time he was either too busy with his latest experiment to notice, couldn't be bothered or simply had no reason to do so. At that moment, however, he was sitting near the shore of the lake and going at it as well as he could. After getting over his panic attack, the pyromancer collected himself and managed to find a relatively secluded spot to sit down and think, trying to come to terms with the events that took place earlier and his role in them. It was a slow and unpleasant process, but Cynder was making some progress. He managed to accept the fact that he deliberately used fire against another living, feeling being, despite everything he had learned - after all, those two wouldn't have hesitated to kill him or anyone else, though he still wasn't happy about that. What he was having trouble with was his reaction to professor Ramielle's story. Her actions, not so much - they were pretty damn horrifying, as she set up the trap he ignited and dealt with those two dragons in a very brutal fashion, and he wasn't sure whether it was actually necessary. Still, for him to lose his composure completely after learning what she had gone through... That must have been disheartening for her. Unfortunately, this was probably still better than staying. He couldn't trust himself not to say something he'd regret later. Sighing, the young mage stared into the distance. He felt that he'd need to discuss this with the dragon later. He felt that he needed to apologize for disappearing like that... And deep down, his curiosity demanded that he try to understand her deeper than that. It was something he considered a curse at times - he couldn't let extraordinary things like that simply go.
In the forest, Toring and Jess were taking a walk. Toring remained in his were form, half man, half polar bear. He would walk behind the halfling so as to not whip any branches into her face. Also to be out of her line of fire. Should he really stumble and fall, he would probably sqash her. Toring was content with just walking for a bit, leaving the courtyard and its gruesome imagery behind.
Jess walked a little sullenly, kicking twigs out of her way every so often, with one more in her hand, that she was idly whittling away at. Since Toring seemed comfortable with silence, she didn't speak up either. Eventually, the stick in her hands was worn down to nearly nothing, so she flipped it into the bushes, and found another to play with.
Eventually, Toring would stop and look at the sky for a moment before grunting. He catches up to Jess and puts his paw on her shoulder. "I feel like running. If you don't mind holding on...?" The large bear man knelt down next to her as he did earlier that day. He noticed there was something on Jess's mind - no surprise - and he wanted to take her to the place he always went to think about things. But before helping her, he had to sort himself out, and running always helped.
Toring hmmphed and checked her grip on his neck before getting up, effortlessly lifting the halfling. "I don't like getting hit in the face either. You just hang on." And then he started to run. His bare feet thudded into the ground, shock waves only poorly absorbed by the dark pads on his soles. He picked up speed, just kept on going faster and faster until he felt like he could outrun a horse. He jumped on rocks and across little creeks, and all the while he fed his uncertainties, his rage and conflicted emotions to the fire that fueled him, that kept him going.
Slowly, but steadily the two of them gained height, the sky coming just a little bit closer until they suddenly broke out of the forest... and found themselves on a cliff, jutting out of the woods and overlooking the lake, which glistened in the distance. Toring pushed one leg forward and braked, and in a scatter of gravel the two of them came to a halt. The lycan straightened himself, brushing some dirt off his pants. "This is it," he grumbled. "This is where I come when I need to think about stuff. The view's nice, and it's remote enough to not be disturbed. I think it's called Dhuvian's Crag." Toring knelt down to allow Jess to climb off and then plodded over to the cliff's edge, sitting down and letting his legs dangle off. His paw patted the space next to him.
Jess climbs off slowly, the trip up leaving her a bit weary from holding on so hard against the jarring impacts of the run Once down, she shook her arms and legs, and cracked her knuckles, then took a seat and enjoying the view, pulling a new knife from behind her back and slowly flipping it, catching it by the hilt each time.
"Nice place, really enjoy the view." She said simply, a small smile forming. "Any idea who this Dhuvian was, and why the named the place after his crack?"
Toring snorted, both amused and surprised. "A crag is a cliff, you doofus. But the view's not really why I wanted to go up here. There's something on your mind." He leaned back, supported by his arms. One of his paws rests behind Jess, ready to grab her, should she fall. "I'm a good listener, but you don't have to talk about it. You can just sit here, watch the sun on the water and think, if you want."
"What and give you ammo against me?" Jess teased chuckling. It died quickly. though, and she sighed. "I dunno Toring, I just... What are we supposed to do? Neither of us has any real magic. Sure, I'm carting around a bunch of extra energy for someone else, but is that really all I'm here for? At least you're a big scary bear thing, I just trip people." She explained slowly, leaning back on one hand before whipping the knife over the edge, waitching it fall down into a clear space at the bottom, landing in the dirt and bouncing away a bit, before she drew another.
Toring watched the knife fall and grunted. His far paw rose and pointed at the knife. "You have those, though. And you're pretty damn good with them. If bad comes to worse, you can kill somebody before I've closed the distance... Though I guess you've never used them to harm somebody," he quickly added, remembering their earlier fight. "Sorry, I sometimes forget that not everybody grew up in conditions as rough as mine."
"That depends." Jess said with a shrug. "If the others really need my energy, then I won't even have these..." She pulled up her sleeve and held her arm straight out for the bear to inspect, her fingerless mesh glove covering just short of her elbow. She held her fingers out straight as well, then motioned as if the close her hand around something, and suddenly one of her daggers was there, created by the enchantment in the gloves. Very few people had ever seen that, she covered it by reaching behind her, pulling them out of her sleeves, out of her boots, a number of ways. That it was magical in nature wasn't exactly the best-kept secret, but the halfling had never outright admitted it until now.
"It drains me a little to summon them, but I'd have to keep it up all day to break even and not overflow. But when I'm drained completely, it takes about an hour to start gathering enough energy to keep going without having to worry again." She explained. As an example, she quickly started hand motions as if she were juggling, but instead of sticking with two or three, she simply let the daggers fall, throwing them slightly out so they vanished down the cliff face and out of sight. She did fifteen or twenty like this, until she started to wobble slightly, looking dizzy. She stopped, then held out her hand again, summoning another new dagger. This one flickered for nearly a second before becoming truly solid, she flipped it around and held it out to him as she sat down again. "On top of all that... I don't think I could purposely hurt someone, Toring. I mean, pranks and jokes and tripping is one thing, right?"
Toring grabbed the knife and weighed it in his hand for a moment before turning it around and ramming it into the ground. "The land I come from is a frozen wasteland. Barely anything grows there, and nothing we could eat. So we hunt. And we fight those that would try and take our food. Wolves. Wyverns. Hobgoblins," he added with a derisive sneer. "There was a tribe of merfolk that would hunt our seals now and then. The point I'm making is... Every single one of us has killed before, simply out of necessity."
He ran a hand through the fur covering his head. "To live in a land where I don't have to fight my food is... strange. But I think I could go the rest of my life without having to kill a deer again. When it comes down to it, I just don't like it very much." Unlike some others of his tribe. Often, the most ruthless killers would become chief somewhere down the line. He sighed and turned slightly towards Jess. "Maybe that's my part in all of this. To protect those of you that can't do it themselves, even if it means having to kill again." He paused and grinned. "Except Servante. He can go hump a manticore for all I care."
Jess shrugged. "I can hunt, no real issue there. It's just... smart things, I don't want to hurt. I dunno, maybe I can practice hitting them with the handles or something... Care to give me a hand with that?" She asked with a grin, then chuckled. Sounded like she was starting to feel better, at least.
Toring chuckled and shook his head. "Hey, I like you a lot, but not enough to allow you to stab me. That's, like, a third date thing in my culture." Polar bear females might be smaller than the males, but in his tribe, the women made up for it by being extremely competitive. When a couple fought, things would get destroyed.
"Nah, not stab you, just thunk you around a bit." She said with a chuckle. "And I didn't know this was a date, maybe I should have dressed up for it. Though I suppose you already threw yourself down a flight of stairs to get my attention, I should have known." She teased, chuckling a bit before continuing with a wink. "And I think it will be a bit longer then three dates before I let you stab me, you're pretty easy."
Flash. Bright yellow flames, dancing above his finger, hungry and chaotic, yet held back by an invisible force, caged in the shape of a sphere. A flick of his wrist, and the spell shot forward, describing a beautiful arc in the air before hitting the surface of the lake, exploding in a cloud of steam. Altough he tried to focus on sorting out the mess in his head, Grave couldn't help but start to feel a little bored by the time he finally calmed down, and began to amuse himself by throwing fireballs at the water as he tried to focus on forcing himself to come up with some kind of conclusion. Once he finally began to feel the drain, he realized that he was just stalling and decided to quit it and find something to occupy himself. With a sigh, Cynder stood up and teleported away, returning to the school. As much as he was afraid of the possible consequences of today's mess, he was just too damn bored to keep sitting in one place.
"Easy on the eyes, maybe," Toring retorted with a grin. "Though it's good to know you don't want to stab me. I guess I can promise to keep scratching and biting to a minum in return," he said in a jesting tone.
The flash of fire down by the lake caught his eye, and he watched the steam rise. "Guess we're not the only ones shaken by the superior mauling that Ramielle dished out back there," he grumbled and pointed down towards the lake. "Who do you think it is? Grave?"
"You'd better, a playful nibble from that fat mouth of yours, and I'm likely to lose half my arm." She replies, leaning forward a bit as she notices the flash as well. "Either him or Bibble, and she said she was going to bed. Don't know any of the others that like making flashes visible from this distance. Think we should head back, see what's going on?"
Toring didn't reply immediately, as he studied a piece of Jess's collarbone that was exposed as she leaned forward and debated if he should engage in a little nibbling right there and then to prove her wrong. Ultimately, though, he decided they weren't at that stage yet. "Yeah, maybe we should get back. Who knows what Delilah told the others. Don't want to start any rumors," he grumbled. The lycan got up and offered Jess a hand.