“Morning, Laddo.” Maccuccio greeted Cyril the same way he greeted her each of his mornings. Cyril was never quite sure what a “laddo” was, but it was said with a smile and gruff upward nod, so she figured it was a term of endearment.
Drifting in the cold morning air was the smell of whatever he had caught and was roasting. Maccu had pulled Innu’s hair into a tight braid on the top of his head and was stripped down to the trousers Innu usually wore under his robe. Cyril was always surprised how thin and pale Innu was, and how many burn scars he had, especially on his chest and back.
“Any hot dreams last night?”
“No,” Cyril said, more forcefully than necessary. Her cheeks went red, even though it shouldn’t have been embarrassing. It just sounded so…explicit. Even though all it meant was dreaming about fire, which was the common first sign of budding warlockian powers.
“I’m not a warlock,” Cyril continued. “And I wish you’d call it something else.”
Maccu raised an eyebrow. “What shall I call it then?” he asked. “Night fire?”
“Steam dream? That one rhymes.”
“No, that’s worse. Just…please stop mentioning it,” Cyril begged. “It’s never going to happen.
Maccu huffed. “Yes it will,” he said. “Chaakuul,” he hissed.
Fire snaked from his hand and fed the flames so that they licked around the meat.
“Come. Sit,” he bid, flicking his still-smoking hand. “I’ve made rabbit.”
Cyril stepped around the supplies scattered around and sat close to the fire. She pulled her legs up to her chest and put her hands out to the warmth. After a few seconds, she realized Maccu was watching her.
“Good,” he said. “Now say, ‘Patuum.’ All fire spells have the double U’s. It sets the spirit rumbling correctly.”
Cyril sighed to herself. “I’m not going to shoot fire.”
“Not shoot. Release,” he corrected. “Shooting is too dangerous for a beginner.”
“I’m not going to do either,” Cyril added. “I’m a necromancer. Not a warlock.”
Maccu gave a frustrating smile, whispered something into his hands, and held them out at the skinned rabbit. He jerked them together and, out of nowhere, the flesh began pulling straight off the rabbit and into the bowl at his feet. Left on a spit above the fire was the cleanest skeleton Cyril had ever seen. Also, the only skeleton she had ever seen.
Maccu’s eyes sparkled with pride, as though he hadn’t just done the creepiest thing Cyril had ever witnessed. It was clear why warlocks garnered so many horror stories about them. Maccu seemed nice enough, but he had fought in the war. How many Moorish and Highlandic soldiers had Maccu de-fleshed like that?
He winked at Cyril like an old man and handed her a bowl.
“When you have your ‘not a hot dream,’ tell me, please. I’ll teach you.”
A/N: Innu’s pretty sure Maccu eats meat on his days, even though Innu doesn’t approve, but he doesn’t want to confront him about it. Besides, it means Cyril is staying healthy, even though Innu pretty much only eats potatoes and carrots when he’s in control.
I’m playing with the idea that Innu has allowed the spirits he hosts to have days where they get to control his body. Being the fair guy that he is, he splits it up evenly between himself and the five ghosts strong enough to maintain a body for a day. Which means, Innu is only Innu every six days. Which is kinda weird for Cyril. (Also, I’m playing with a genderbent Cyril. I kinda like it better, tbh.)
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