Does dhl leave package at door

TransSupport: Support for trans people

2012.07.05 18:05 Sanctusorium TransSupport: Support for trans people

The aim of this community is to provide a supportive space for trans people. Supportive allies welcome.

2015.08.13 01:56 JohnCub Cheap Bikes: Sometimes they ARE the best choice

cheapbikes is a place for open discussion of department store bikes, home builts, whatever. Cheapbikes does not condone bike snobbery of any level so leave it at the door or we'll lock the door behind you.

2009.02.14 11:16 .gifs - funny, animated gifs for your viewing pleasure

Funny, animated GIFs: Your favorite computer file type! Officially pronounced with a hard "J"

2023.04.02 14:52 idk_throwawayacc getting better is scary

I can do it, im capable of it, but it feels so random. It feels like my previous struggles weren’t even real
I have some weird form of agoraphobia symptoms, I don’t have the disorder but I do have the symptoms apart from “daily panic attacks about going outside”
I want the hiding to come back, it’s weird, I tried so hard to fight it so people would stop judging all my special little places and my dumb escape routes and my dumb ducking habits
but it’s so comfortable, and I’m at home for the holidays, and it isn’t here with me, but it feels so unnatural, and a part of me wants it back
I bet it will come back when I go back to school, it always does. So great the majority of my friends think it’s pure nerves, it’s not why I drifted away. I didn’t feel happy, and I needed to leave. The anxiety around it isn’t because im scared, it’s because I know that once people find me again, im weird again, they know I’ve run away, they know I hide, it’s obvious, I can’t escape it
It’s weird, I feel like my feelings were only valid when I was looking up techniques to…. Yeah, but it wasn’t very often! Only on a few separate days, so even that probably wasn’t valid! All the imagery on those few days, I guess it doesn’t matter.
My heart felt heavy one of those days, was it a panic attack? No clue! But it doesn’t matter, it was only 2 days, plus I don’t think panic attacks last that long, I felt scared and the only thing wrong was my heart, it felt like that for nearly an hour, but it’s ok! My heavy heart didn’t last that long!!
All the bad experiences, it doesn’t matter! I am better now, nobody was there when it was terrible, but someone is now when I’m already better, wish they could have been here before
I vent when it’s better, it’s not even bad. I don’t enjoy the happiness like I should, I think about the fact I’m randomly happy for a portion of everyday
I am ok! Why do I feel like this? I am getting better!
doesn’t matter though, does it?
submitted by idk_throwawayacc to venting [link] [comments]

2023.04.02 14:52 -Sherpa_Derp- Dog Allergy Advice?

Dog Allergy Advice?
Our dog Sophie has been dealing with allergies for several years now. For a long time it was just excessive licking and scratching but since January she's been getting a rash on her belly and inner thighs too.
We've taken her to the vet multiple times and I feel like we've been going in circles trying to figure out what she is allergic to. Before I schedule yet another vet appointment I wanted to ask the reddit world to consider Sophie's situation and history. Maybe you can think of something? Or perhaps you've gone through a similar experience with your pet? Any advice or thoughts would be appreciated! Please and thank you!
Here's her history, I'll try to make it as short as possible but I don't want to leave any details out. That said here's the TL;DR first:
6 year old female, pitbull mix. Itching, licking and belly rash persists despite being on Apoquel, Cytopoint, trying multiple brands of kibble, no longer giving treats (using kibble instead), washing food and water bowls daily, switching dog bed, cleaning/sterilizing crate, and washing blankets that she typically lays on. Her belly rash will go away if we use a dog hydrocortisone cream but it returns a few days later. I've been taking daily photos of her rash and making notes in an effort to figure this out. My phone camera isn't great so the pictures don't really show just how irritated her skin is. The link to the album is below. I apologize if the notes don't make sense to you, I didn't think I'd be sharing them online :-)
Here's a more detailed explanation of her situation:
Medications: - For the last few years she's been on a monthly dose of Apoquel (initially given to treat excessive scratching and licking) - For several months she was given twice the recommended amount (vet approved) - When the double dose started to lose effectiveness we tried a monthly shot of Cytopoint in addition to the Apoquel - Currently she is only on Cytopoint (decided to stop Apoquel last month because it didn't appear to be helping anymore, it's an immune suppressant and Cytopoint is supposed to be the superior treatment)
Diet: - For past 6 months, Purina One Lamb and Rice - Previously on Now Fresh Turkey, Salmon and Duck. Switched because the vet advised to try kibble that does not include fowl aka bird meat.
Measures we've taken to identify cause: - Switched dog bed in her crate - Cleaned/sterilized her crate - Deep cleaned bedroom aka office where her crate is (to eliminate dust/dander?) - Washed the dog bed fabric and couch blankets that she typically lays on - Bathed her once a month - Stopped giving her dog treats (use her normal food instead) - Clean food and water bowls daily
Other notes: - At night we put Sophie in our office room where she sleeps on a couch (we have another dog and chose to keep them separated at night when we are not present) - If we are leaving the house for an extended period of time we put her in a crate - We think that whatever is bothering her causes her to lick her belly and thighs which eventually leads to a rash - We suspect that she is licking when she is unsupervised and bored/restless, i.e. in her crate or the office where she sleeps at night - She wore a cone 24/7 for 2 weeks to eliminate licking and rash didn't subside. At that time, we got antibiotics from vet which temporarily cleared it up. - Since then we've used a dog hydrocortisone cream to treat rash. It works but the rash comes back after a few days.
Next steps according to vet: - Apoquel and Cytopoint do not treat food allergies. If these medications are not helping (they don't appear to be) then it's time to try a special prescription food diet to see if her food is the cause of her allergies
Thank you for taking the time to read all this and help a stranger. If you have any suggestions or advice please post it here or send me a direct message! I'll be sure to give her some extra pets today and let her know that the reddit community is on the case! Thanks again.
submitted by -Sherpa_Derp- to DogAdvice [link] [comments]

2023.04.02 14:51 billy_bh98 I have found this one trick that has helped me when my adrenaline starts pumping trying to sleep

Since the pandemic has happened I have been having nights where i'm so full of adrenaline because I have something that inolves pressure the following day whether it was work, education, even a haircut. The pandemic completely fucked with my anxiety and senses and I have been trying to get it back to normal since. I have learned these tricks over the last couple of months and it's helped me during this 3 year struggle.
Step one: Leaving your comfort zone
Not needing to go anywhere for months at a time, I just stayed and didn't see anyone mostly during this whole pandemic. Didn't need to got to college as it was all zoom, can just get my food delivered here, didn't need to work. What could be better right? Wrong. This was the main cause of my sleeplessness, when I eventually had to do something when the lockdown eased I had tremendous anxiety for the next day, because I was in my comfort zone for so long my body almost as a defense mechanism pumped adrenaline in me before bed to the point where I was going in with literally 0 hours sleep to anything. Even seeing my friends caused me to have no sleep, the people i'm meant to relax and have fun with. This was ongoing until around 2 months ago until I started making plans with friends I hadn't seen in a while, doing things that scare me even if I didn't get any sleep, attending education as much as possible no off days, going on dates. Anything to get me out of my comfort zone and it slowly worked, less and less anxiety before bedtime.
Step 2: Once you feel the adrenaline surging through your veins during trying to sleep (around 20 mins in or so) THEN get up and read a book until you can't anymore.
People say read a book beforehand and that does definitely work, but for me I noticed that as soon as my head hit the pillow the adrenaline rushes through me no matter what I was doing before. The trick with this is to wait until it hits you, and then get up and read a book. This somewhat tells your body that the 'danger' is over as the adrenaline rush has happened and you will soon notice your body calming down dramatically. So essentially you just need to let the adrenaline rush happen first, and then read after until you're tired. You will notice your heart beating slower and slower, your chest becoming less tight, and your melatonin kicking in.
I also have been taking promethazine which is in certain sleeping tablets. This takes 15-30 minutes to work with the highest concentration of drug in the body after 2-3 hours (whereas diphenhydramine the maximum sedative effect is achieved within 1-3 hours) so it essentially the highest dosage kicks in a little later decreasing your chance with insomnia. I haven't been relying on these but if you need a plan b after everything I just said isn't working, having this should lower your anxiety knowing it's there.
I hope this helps anyone that been dealing with this as long as I have. Good luck
TLDR: Make efforts to be out of your comfort zone in any way possible, read AFTER you can't sleep as the adrenaline rush wil go away, and take promethazine as the drugs highest concentration in the body is later in the night reducing risk of insomnia as a plan B.
submitted by billy_bh98 to sleep [link] [comments]

2023.04.02 14:49 usedfordarkarts Someone broke into our apartment with a key!

As the title states, someone opened our door while we were home!
Tonight we had my brother over and he is about the same size as me so in the dark could definitely be mistaken for me. After he left my partner and I heard someone try our door. Thinking it was my brother, my partner ran to the door and almost opened it until she saw through the peephole and saw a stranger in dark clothes hiding under a hoodie.
We pinned it as someone making a mistake and moved on. About 30 minutes later we turned off everything and turned in for the night. I set a hammer next to me just in case. Not 5 minutes after laying down we heard keys and the front door open. The absolute primal fear and anger sent me flying to the door which I hit full force and closed before they got in.
We called the police and are absolutely mortified.
A few things:
A) Our landlord never changed the old lock… evident by the old beat up keys we received.. that’s a mistake we will never make again.
B) We have never lost a set and have always been careful.
C) We’re absolutely terrified and the fact they probably thought she was alone has kept me awake… we want out but our lease doesn’t end until next Feb.
A) We want out. Can their negligence with the locks be a reason to break the lease? We could have been robbed or worse, killed.
B) What do we do in the meantime?
C) I’m losing out on work because of this. I’m not leaving partner alone at home and will therefore lose out on my wages. Can I recoup that in any way?
Thank you in advance. We’ve been shaking and completely shocked all night.
submitted by usedfordarkarts to santarosa [link] [comments]

2023.04.02 14:46 jfox73 E board suggestions for new game room setup

My wife and I are buying a new home with a big game room that I’ll be turning into a man cave. The previous owners are leaving their pool table that will sit in the middle of the room. I want to add a dart board setup but am leaning towards a soft tip since the pool table will be near the dart board and wouldn’t want anyone not paying attention to take a steel tip to the head.
Originally I was looking at the spider360 1000 series but I have a couple of questions. For $2600 is there something bettesimilar that you would recommend? I’ve searched this sub and see everyone talking about gran board. Is it as solid as a cabinet setup or does it feel like you’re playing on a $30 board from Walmart but with all the extra features.
I don’t mind spending money on something high quality but if I can save money on something that still looks very clean then I would be open to suggestions. TIA!
submitted by jfox73 to Darts [link] [comments]

2023.04.02 14:46 FirstBreath1 I let a stranger take a picture of me.

“Blink twice if you understand me.”
I let go of a lot of anger after the crash that almost killed my family. I just couldn’t bottle it anymore. Do you know how soda gets all bubbly every time you pop open the cap? I could feel that in my head every morning. Cracking and sizzling and bouncing all along the brain stem. Every time a doctor gave bad news. Every time Emma didn’t open her eyes. We risked spillage onto the floor.
But the kids deserved better. My wife deserved better. I needed to focus all that negative energy on something constructive like her health. I knew she could beat the coma. I knew she just had that strength. All of the doctors and all of the consultants said time was the only way to truly reduce swelling in an injury with such severity. So we waited.
And waited.
The investigation into the wreck came up clueless. A detective called often with questions and theories and information to review. Those conversations lasted over an hour in the early days. Eventually they felt like a formality. I looked into the cost of private eyes. I even met with one online. He told me sometimes there’s just not enough data out there to locate a suspect.
Sometimes people can be ghosts.
The photos stopped as suddenly as they started. I still couldn’t stomach a shot of Joey on the playground, or Sofia on the bus, so the teachers kept the kids inside, and my dad played chauffeur. Public spaces felt about as safe as the unused house with one hell of a mortgage eating up half my income. But we couldn’t go back there. I couldn’t risk another confrontation. Not yet.
We slept at my parents’ house.
We lived life inside a bubble.
Nobody in, nobody out.
Our home-base was the hospital. Emma’s routines became the structure. The doctors gave status in the morning before the kids went off to school at nine. I worked off the crappy Wi-Fi while nurses changed bandages and prepared my wife for another day of dancing with the devil. A new normal developed overtime that both disgusted and comforted me at the same time.
I tried to look at the light at the end of the tunnel. The news improved day-by-day. One scan showed increased activity. Another indicated a dramatic reduction in swelling. After weeks of hell, one hot night, the chief surgeon actually told us to keep our phones on high-volume before bed.
“I really think she’s ready to pull through,” he grinned. “There’s a long road back from here. No doubt about it. But we’re starting to see all the right signs.”
I needed to celebrate. Sofia wanted pizza. My mom ordered take-out and my dad pulled out all the old home video tapes. The kids passed out to the sound of grandpa’s harmonica on record. I remember feeling like we were finally out of the woods that night. Like all the bad shit behind us finally led to redemption.
I fell asleep with thoughts of the landscaping back home. I knew Em would give me shit for the lawn. I hadn’t cut it for weeks.
I woke up to a picture message.
The time on my phone said two. Rain pattered the windows. Thunder shook the cabinets. I looked around and realized I was alone. My father had a habit of setting things right at night.
I opened up the text. Emma laid serenely in her white hospital gown. Her makeup was done. Her eyes were closed. A hand held hers tight. Another message pinged back immediately after that one.
Her eyes were open.
I got my keys and sprinted out to the car. I needed to channel the adrenaline into something constructive. I called the hospital along the way. They didn’t answer. I called dispatch. I waited. Finally a live person came on the line.
“The doctor is going in there now,” the secretary snipped. “We don’t send picture messages.”
“I’m coming.”
I called the cops. I called my parents. I called everyone. A dozen scenarios ran through my mind. They could have her. They could hurt her. They could do whatever they wanted without me there. That photograph was proof. I was helpless in an instant all over again.
The hour and the weather kept people off the roads. The garage at the hospital was connected to the main building at the back. I found a spot, parked, and got out. Timed lights matched my pace until the roof opened up to the rain.
The campus had an alien feeling to it so late at night. Almost as if healthy people didn’t belong. Bright flood lights blended into swaying trees in the misty breeze. Empty lots gave way to shadows of trucks.
I didn’t know how to get in after hours. I had a loose plan to stop at the emergency desk and ask for help. But I didn't recognize anything in the dark. I hustled up the path through the bright lit hedges. I looked around. I got lost after a while.
And then there he was.
About fifty yards away. Walking down the opposite road like any other fucking night. Black slacks. White shirt. Gray hat.
The right guy.
I kept my distance at first. It felt good to be on the other side of things. I followed him through the courtyard and all the way through a lot to his car. He fumbled with his keys for a moment. He dropped them. Then I stepped out.
He turned around. He smiled.
I stared at him for a second. He stared back.
“Looks like your girl is going to be alright in there.”
I moved closer.
“She’s going to be very popular, too.”
I hesitated.
“What does that mean?”
He laughed.
“Oh you know. Pictures like that? Death and back?”
He opened the door.
“My people are going to love it.”
The stranger gave me one last look before he sighed and went for his keys. He didn’t expect me to hit him. He should have. I reached back and swung with all the repressed rage of the past month.
The connection felt so fucking good.
The first punch broke his nose. The second pushed it all the way back. I could hear things snap. I could feel him struggling. That didn’t concern me. I pushed him down and old bones hit the pavement like a sack of molded potatoes. I kicked him in the ribs. I shoved my boot in his face. I straddled his thighs and hit, hit, hit until the bubbling in my brain fizzled and dissolved.
I lost control of the soda bottle.
I don’t remember stopping. I don’t even remember blinking. This could have gone on for hours and that all would have been just fine with me. But there was a rush of footsteps to my left. Somebody snapped a photo to my right. My arms went limp.
I was caught.
I turned around to find a yuppy guy in board shorts. He had one of those fancy cameras with the strap. He zoomed in on the bloodied remains of the face beside me. He clicked and pursed his lips a few times. Then he looked at me.
He smiled wide.
“Okay. Okay. This is gonna be perfect. Are you ready?”
He pointed his camera.
“Say… tangerine!”
submitted by FirstBreath1 to nosleep [link] [comments]

2023.04.02 14:46 Damie-Walker ENTP girl ghosting me

Hi everyone, I got in contact with a girl (in Instagram) a few months ago. We were getting along fine and then she disappeared for unknown reason to me. Recently I liked her post and she messaged me: " Hello, how are you? Sorry for disappearing back then, I had quite a rough time getting along with guys". Even though I have seen her stories back then, showing how a guy looks after her and so on 😁. I said that everything is fine and I can relate to not wanting to communicate with people. She liked that. Now, we went on a date 3 days ago and everything was fine. She talked a lot, gave an insight why she disappeared and so on. Often talked about her ex. Said that she was hurt and could not open a full heart for new relationship. As INFP I mostly listened and she (ENTP) was talking about different topics starting from quantum physics to menstruation 😃. All in all a date was good and liked her.
On the next day I decided to surprise her and bought some flowers. Plus she got a cold and I thought it was a great opportunity to show that I care and I am quite serious about her. I showed up at her place, gave her flowers and some fruits saying to get well. She was surprised indeed, told me that it was a very pleasant surprise. I was happy that this girl likes my attention. Later when I got home she wrote that it was guite awkward as well but thanked me again. I decided to use an advice for INFPs about telling other people how you feel so they could understand my emotions as I am not a great speaker. So I wrote that by doing this move I wanted her to know how it was a really nice date, and I could not get to sleep for an hour thinking about how I could have showed my emotions better and not finding words to describe back on the date. Like little mistakes when girls like being touched sometimes on the hand or shoulder, but I am to shy and respectful and do not want to offend them. I didn't do this stuff and was quite shy.
So after that message I guess she did not reply in any way. On the next day I see stories of her going out and still no messages. I decided to wait for a day and not to text her. Today in the morning I decided to give another try and wrote her good morning and stuff. Still no reply.
Now I know that it is beneficial to ask directly about what is happening as I did with other girl. That girl said that we could not be dating as she did not like me. That was hurtful but still better knowing. So I wonder should I ask her about why she is ghosting me or wait a few days for that or stop texting her at all and wait for her to respond and she does not, leave her be and forger her. By the way we agreed on meeting again back on the date to celebrate our friends bar opening. To me it hurts when someone does not reply within some days without a reason.
Sorry for the long text, I could not have described it in short) Hope to see an advice.
submitted by Damie-Walker to infp [link] [comments]

2023.04.02 14:44 lolablueski I honestly just need validation that I’m not crazy. I (25f) feel like my partner (35m) was manipulative and misogynistic.

Long story short - I moved into his apartment around a year ago, things went down hill pretty quickly.
He would:
-tell me I’m too sensitive or overreacting in arguments/disagreements
-tell me to leave the apartment/relationship instead of work on the relationship on multiple occasions(my name isn’t in the lease - I know dumb, but at the time I trusted him but I now see that he truly thought it was HIS apartment and not OURS)
-tell me I did not “present myself authentically” when we first met because I would wear makeup and dress up more and now I rarely do that 🥴
-he tried to explain he is more attractive to more feminine people. And basically told me he is no longer attracted to me. And you know what guys this still baffles me because then he’s saying our sex life dwindling and it’s a huge problem for him and i’m like where is this coming from???? I got my wisdom teeth removed a month ago and months before that my jaw was bother me a LOT and this man only gets off on oral. Man I’m sorry I couldn’t get him you off because I was in literal pain 🤣🤷🏽‍♀️
-constantly told me I’m insecure and when I tried talking to him about past trauma’s he would make me feel like I’m using it as a crutch instead of being supportive/empathetic about my situation (I’ve been in and out of therapy, still trying to find one that works for me)
Guys, I’m just exhausted. I still live with him and am trying to set up another place to live. We basically broke up last night and when I tried coming to him about how I felt he basically told me it’s too late and that there’s just too many fundamental differences. Oh he also mentioned that “feelings are fake”, WTF DOES THAT MEAN???? But I 100% agree there’s fundamental differences. It’s just so frustrating that even now he refuses to see my perspective on things. I also think he cheated on me…the whole makeup/how I dress came out of NO WHERE and he came home one day after an outing with his friend saying they got in his hot tub and his testicles now have angry red bumps on them. That was also around the time that he would go out on his own to play pool for ~2hrs a lot.
submitted by lolablueski to relationship_advice [link] [comments]

2023.04.02 14:43 sagjer Primarch book series grades

I read all 17 books and here is my - and only mine - opinion on them, in order of Legion number. No spoilers.
Lion El'Johnson: 1/10. Incoherent. I read 240 pages and if you ask me what the book is about, I wouldn't have an answer. Lion appears for no more than a total of 3 pages, and the author very clearly stans Bleach given his narration of sword-fight quotes. Downright, a bad book that lost the chance to portray Lion as anything more than a statue of a monk with a sword. But not the worst piece of the bunch...
Fulgrim: 6/10. I gotta say I was surprised. Fulgrim is a bit over the top cocky; I think we'd like him more if he was vain and proud in a non-adolescent handsome headboy way. Absolutely loved the Hellenistic-Byzantine flavour. It would be higher if it wasn't so light in tone.
Perturabo: 3/10. Tedious, frustrating. Does this make it good for an IW novel? Not at all. It was just cumbersome, not artistically so. Read it just to get it out of the way. Also, mr.Haley quite clearly does not understand the interconnectedness of philosophy, art, and science, and offers no insight to young Perturabo whatsoever.
Jaghatai Khan: 9/10. As one would expect, the Khan delivers in all fronts. I cannot say more; it's everything you want to see from Mongolian bikers that take no shit.
Leman Russ: 7/10. A treat for the SW fans - which I certainly am not. Disliked the predictable outcome of the interraction with the other Primarch that appears in the book. Really conveys the sci-fi Viking feel.
Rogal Dorn: 5/10. Not too shabby. Dorn is portrayed as a general, not a clever warlord. Very dense in writing, but it's an IF novel. You can't expect a great sundae from mediocre vanilla.
Konrad Curze: 2/10. Laughable. A cartoonish, almost insultingly so, Curze. It doesn't get 1/10 because I can see 13 year olds loving it. So, I guess it does bear a value among the youngest of the franchise's fans, and that's why it gets 1+1. A vile depiction of the Night Lords' genesire. Mr.Haley does not dissapoint, yet again.
Sanguinius: 8/10. A fresh PoV for the setting, a link with the BAs sins, and a rich, flowing story.
Ferrus Manus: 5/10. Downright basic. Awesome for the tech geeks; appreciatively communicates the focus on the machines. And actually, fleshes out a surprisingly interesting Ferrus. Weak storyline.
Angron: 6/10. If this book wasn't so obviously affected by the knowledge of the WE's fall to Khorne, and had a stronger, more compound ending, it would be an easy 8. I like the presentation of this other side of Kharn, and totally back the brooding butcher that is our Angron.
Roboute Guilliman: 6/10. It's the first time since 2011 that I do not absolutely hate anything Ultramarines. Their cultural focus and the luscious narrative make up for what would be better of as a novelette.
Mortarion: 9/10. A delightful, fulfilling origin story for Digger, a non-SM character that I wanna see coming back again. Mortarion is fucking brutal in a fine arts, NWOAHM way. His hardiness is legendary and narrated as such, his determination almost inspiring. I would instantly collect a DG army if I didn't hate maggots and armpit stains.
Magnus the Red: 8/10. An organic depiction of the internal conflicts that plagued the Tsons. As this used to be my legion for a lot of years, I can only wholeheartedly suggest it and hope you'll like it enough to read more Tsons books.
Lorgar: 7/10. Surprisingly good. Kor Phaeron is properly written as the vilest fucker around, and the book overall, gives us a proper prequel for what we know Lorgar to have become.
Vulkan: 5/10. Could have been a short story. A pleasant snoozefest. Like the Salamanders, really.
Corvus Corax: 0/10. Absolutely one of the worst books I have ever read; certainly the worst in 40k. I get that mr.Haley loves his job, but maybe he should consider leaving it. Everything I have read from him is an insult to the setting, and a disservice to literature. Read it if only to truly grasp what bad literature reads like.
Alpharius/Omegon: 10/10. An unfathomably joyous experience of a book. A fully realised story concept, an adorable Alpharius, a Legion you can understand and support. One of the best books in the franchise ever. Predictable, but relieving and satisfying ending.
submitted by sagjer to 40kLore [link] [comments]

2023.04.02 14:43 kidwrangl3r Tips for keeping her out of her bed when she wets it

My MIL has mild to moderate dementia and some urinary incontinence. She wears Depends, takes medication prescribed by the urologist, and does Kegels. All these have reduced the number of times we need to change her bedsheets, but she does still wet the bed sometimes. Honestly taking care of her bed isn't a big deal to me, because I know she can't help it. What I do mind is she won't tell us. One of us is always within ten feet of her bedroom door so we can hear her if she needs help overnight. We have asked her to let us know right away if she wets the bed so we can change it for her. We've used a very normal and calm tone of voice about it, and if she feels embarrassed, we assure her she shouldn't.
Despite this she won't ever tell us she peed the bed. I now ask in a light tone of voice every morning if she had a dry night. Sometimes she has truly forgotten she peed it, sometimes she knows and is just lying in it. It isn't that she can't get up. She often goes to the bathroom on her own, changes Depends, and goes back to bed and lies in it. Sometimes she covers the puddle up with her blanket and lies on top of the blanket, which soaks through too by morning. I suppose the dementia might be causing this, if she covers it up when she gets out of bed, and forgets by the time she gets back from the bathroom. Yesterday she peed the bed, come out to sit in the living room like we asked her, and then went back to bed and laid down in the urine. We were trying to balance several morning chores and didn't catch her in time. I can't imagine she didn't realize it was urine, but maybe she can't smell it anymore, or doesn't care that it's wet? I am not sure.
This morning she just unmade half the bed, and laid down on the wet vinyl mattress protector. I was awake and in the kitchen when she went to the bathroom, so she saw me and clearly could have told me so I could help her, but she chose not to. Her decision to not ask for help or let us know is habitual, no matter what we do.
I'm afraid I showed my frustration at it. I assured her no one minded if she peed the bed, she couldn't help it, but she couldn't stay in her urine for health reasons. She was pretty salty back, and I get it, she was defensive. I just don't want her to have any infections or damaged skin from laying in her pee. And for selfish reasons, when she tries to cover it and just lie back in it, it doubles or triples the laundry load.
Is this fight even worth it? Because of the dementia, is repeating my reasoning pointless? I worry all it does is stress her, because she can't retain the discussion that it's ok to pee that bed, but not ok not to tell us. Like maybe all she can remember is the emotion of embarrassment, no matter how we deal with it. And no amount of talk about it will change her behavior, because her brain just doesn't work that way anymore.
Looking for insights from anyone in a similar situation. Thanks.
submitted by kidwrangl3r to CaregiverSupport [link] [comments]

2023.04.02 14:42 SpaghettiYetiConfett [Advice] Converting a mostly finished attic space

Hello! I'm looking for some advice on materials to DIY connecting finished/unfinished spaces and insulation on a top floor.
Here's a pic of the layout:
So what I'm looking to do is take down the purple walls between the green rooms, take down all the doors, and expand the ceilings of all the rooms to reach the roof.
Here are my concerns:
  1. Insulation - it's already hot as hell during summer and ice cold during winter. I may need to take down all the walls, which are plaster or horsehair plaster, and replace all of the insulation. I'm fine with this and I'd like to add more electrical anyway. But what is the thinnest, most effective insulation you would recommend for the spaces between the wooden roof supports? Am I overlooking anything?
  2. The existing rooms leave a small space at the end of the slanty roof for soffets. There's essentially a very small crawlspace that goes around the two existing rooms. I think I need to keep this right? I don't really see myself needing to expand the existing or newly finished rooms to gain a 1-2 ft high, 3ft long space.
  3. Are there any downfalls or things to look out for I'm missing? The fact that most of it is already converted to living space is really helpful, but I feel it was done poorly in the past already so I'm sort of looking for any pitfalls of doing this to see if the previous owners did it well.
Edit: 4. I have a chimney capped just below the floor. Any advice how to cover it up? Is it ok to lay hardwood on mortar to use the chimney as a support essentially?
Thanks all!
submitted by SpaghettiYetiConfett to HomeImprovement [link] [comments]

2023.04.02 14:40 Impressive-Match-903 Remove old cement stucco or leave it on and put siding over it.

I have a small duplex in Montreal built in 1902. I've been renovating it for 3 years now. I'm at the stage where I want to start replacing the windows and also redoing the siding. Right now it's really crappy looking vinyl siding which is covering a THICK layer of cement stucco. This stuff does not come off easy, I removed some to cut an opening for a patio door in the back. I think it has to be cut into pieces then smashed off the wall. Lots of noise and dust. I'm wondering if it's worth removing or if I should just put a layer of peel and stick weather barrier over it and put new siding over it.
submitted by Impressive-Match-903 to homebuildingcanada [link] [comments]

2023.04.02 14:39 TrashLopsided1120 Mixed Signals From Mutual Friend

So theres this girl, we'll refer to her as M (23), Ive(25) been trying to figure out her intentions for a few months and still have no real answers. I would usually be more direct but Im a little nervous because shes my best friends fiances best friend and I dont wanna make things awkward
we've known eachother for a couple years and up until January had only hung together with our friends a handful of times. This last christmas I invited my friend, his fiance and M over to my house to take shrooms and spend the night. It was overall a lot of fun and by the end of the night I had caught M glancing at me a few times, but tried not to think much of it bc we were all on drugs lol.
so nothing happens that night, we just had a good time and they left next afternoon. Shortly after they leave we realize M has left her air mattress at my house. My friend asks me if his fiance can give M my number so she can coordinate picking it up. Idk why but I said "nah thats alright, I'll dm her, I have her on insta" which I probably should have just let her give M my number. side note, M followed me on insta last july after a party we were at, and I sloothed a bit and found she doesnt follow any of my friends other friends. we also have matched on tinder in the past, and my friends fiance has also asked my friend about setting M and I up together multiple times but my friend usually shuts it down cause I havent wanted to date in a while and M is also complicated. so I feel like those are good signs she likes me, but she also very awkward, anxious, quiet, shyish so shes very hard to read.
so anyways, I was out of town after christmas for a couple weeks but I message M when I get home. She comes by my house to pick up her air mattress and we make small talk, before she leaves she ask if I wanna hang out and smoke some time, I said sure.
after this I call my friend to see what he knows, cause even though I feel like she likes me shes never like flirty or anything. I talk to my friend and he says that shes seeing someone, but planning on breaking up with him. Im like okay, we can just hang, I figure shes vetting me as one her next options, whatever.
so over the last couple months we hung out a few times, but dont really txt much which Im fine with cause I dont like to text, but usually I find txting regularly is big part of starting something. Eventually I ask her if she wants to go to an art museum with me and get food after, I never literally used the word date but I figured that seemed like a date. she agrees, we go, we have a nice time. so then a few days later I text her and asks if she wants to get food that weekend, didnt say date but still. then she responds saying shes busy the next couple weeks with family and her boyfriend. that kinda through me for a loop bc she had never brought up that she was seeing someone the last couple months. i tell her no worries and leave it at that. I figure it was just rejection. I also felt bad cause my friend did tell me she was seeing someone, I just assumed that they had broken up. cause to me its a little wierd to spend time alone with a guy you barely know if youre in a relationship.
2 or 3 weeks later M txts me out of no where asking if I wanna get food and hangout again, Im like sure. I talked to my friend again he says that M has broken up with said BF since last we saw eachother.
so yesterday shes coming, she txts me saying her car broke down, but shes like 5 mins from. so i go find her, fix her car the best I can and we go to my house. we just smoke and talk, I asked her about getting food, and she says shed rather do take out than eat at the restaurant, which i take as a bad sign. she also like wasnt dressed like neatly really which i took as a sign of I dont care what you think.
we hang for a 3 or 4 hours, nothing eventful happens, she leaves. later that night she txts thanking me for my help today.
Im just very confused because from what Ive heard from friends, and some of stuff shes done she seems like shes into me, and we tend to talk a lot when we've been hanging one on one. But i feel like if she straight up tells me she has a boyfriend regardless of how serious or not it is, thats just her turning me down. and I feel bad cause if she does want to be just friends Im gonna have a hard time doing that if I have feelings for her and feel rejected
also I feel like Im sending mixed signals cause Im too nervous to be forward or direct with what I want cause Im scared she'll say no. I aslo feel bad hanging out with her if my intentions or romantic and shes has a bf.
so Idk, someone tell me what to do.
submitted by TrashLopsided1120 to dating_advice [link] [comments]

2023.04.02 14:39 rrun2802 AITA for not visiting my sister's new apartment?

My sister (32F)'s husband (43M) applied for and won an affordable housing 1-bedroom apartment and they moved a few months ago. My sister has asked me a couple of times when I would come visit and to be honest I am uncomfortable and have no interest in doing so. I do not want to be in the same space as her husband.
My sister is in a controlling and abusive relationship. Every couple of months there is a huge fight (they are both alcoholics) and my sister will call up me or our mom complaining about what happened and asking for help to find a divorce lawyer and how she is unhappy and wants to leave. But then a few days later she reverts back to "I never said that", "you don't know him", etc. So now I try to not involve at all because it is exhausting. We used to live next door to each other and whenever I would see her husband outside I would run away from him. he makes me so uncomfortable & I think he is disgusting.
He alienates her from her friends and family. Our family never sees him. He always spends holidays with his family. And Whenever my sister is with us he complains and says we are bad influences. Even though my sister and I used to live next door to each other I hardly ever saw her. She only asked to meet when her husband would be gone all day. And another reason why I am avoiding going to that new apartment is because I am waiting for the other shoe to drop...after every major life event (moving in, engagement, wedding, etc.) there has been a physical altercation. The entire relationship makes me upset and I don't want to enable it any further.
I don't want to tell my sister why I am uncomfortable because I know she will run back and tell her husband and it is crazy but I feel like I am afraid of him, too. Even the idea of going when he isn't there I don't trust, I feel like my sister will lie or be incorrect in the fact her husband won't be around and I don't want to be stuck having to make small talk or share the same space with him. I really am at the point where he makes me sick with the way he treats her and it is so frustrating because my sister won't leave the relationship.
Anyway I told my sister we can meet up for dinner in her new neighborhood instead if she wants. I can tell her feelings are hurt and she is going to hold a grudge. AITA? Should I just suck it up and go to her apartment?
submitted by rrun2802 to AmItheAsshole [link] [comments]

2023.04.02 14:39 bluecoldwater22 Healing isn’t linear and blindsided breakups hurt the worst.

I’m about 6-7 weeks post break up with zero contact since the breakup. I didn’t expect how much I’d ebb and flow from being “ok” (ie. Being sad but being able to move through my day), to being a complete wreck (crying, feeling like any little task is huge, being distracted at work).
I’ve had much more monumental breakups in the past (I was with someone for 7 years and engaged) and they blindsided me leaving me but blindsided in the sense that I didn’t realize how unhappy they were until they told me they needed to be done. Even then, they were kind about it and I knew they loved me and it was hard for them. I still felt respected and valued.
This breakup was 4 years on and off and complete abandonment. Terrible breakup and a text message official ending. Absolutely nothing since. It almost hurts worse even though the relationship wasn’t as “serious” and was very up and down (it was serious, but we didn’t live together for years and weren’t engaged). My ex fiancé moved across the country after our breakup which made it easier. This breakup, I am in the same very small town as my ex, and we have many mutual friends.
This breakup in many ways feels harder and hurts worse because I feel so disrespected and unloved. I could never just ghost someone over text (the way they treated me in person the night before was terrible, screaming at me, calling me names etc.)
I know the way people choose to handle things says more about them (or so we’re told) but it’s hard not to internalize it and make it a reflection of you. Right now I’m fighting hard against these internal monologues of “he must not have ever really loved me” “I must have been worthless” “he’s totally fine without me” “the fact that he hasn’t even reached out to apologize and be on good terms must mean something about me or my worth”. Does anyone else do this? It’s so hard to not.
I don’t know what I’m trying to say in this post other than I can’t wait for the day where this doesn’t hurt or I’m not battling my head on how this must mean something about my worth or value. Also, blindsiding someone and then just ghosting them truly is one of the most cruel ways to end something. It’s cowardly, and the person you loved and loved you deserves better.
submitted by bluecoldwater22 to BreakUps [link] [comments]

2023.04.02 14:39 Goldenbracelet Father-

It is a first-person retelling of Peter Pan from Captain Hook's point of view. It will be part of a series, and it's just a short installment for now (52 pages). It has three stars on Amazon for now.
Idea-Captain Hook and Peter have amnesia and Hook ends up wanting to adopt Peter.
First lines
The gossip next to my block says I'm a tormented man. What a load of rubbish! Their unwanted pity suffocates me, their judgment makes me incapable in their eyes! I don't know why they keep staring, haven't they seen a man with amnesia before? Probably not, especially that Hawking woman, who treats me like an exotic wild animal worthy of taming. She wakes me up at the crack of dawn every day, knocks on my door, and leaves me chocolate mint cookies. But she disappears as soon as I open the door, like an irritatingly benevolent ghost. In contempt I throw half of the cookies in the trash, the other half being too tempting to throw away. Today, I stride into the living room, I recline on a coppery armchair and open a book with my hook. The cover is red and expensive. It's an old, classic book. As I read it, some awful screams from upstairs hiss loudly, thundering my eardrums.
submitted by Goldenbracelet to KindleUnlimited [link] [comments]

2023.04.02 14:37 beige-king Does this type of schedule work? I feel like I'm still doing everything wrong.

So I work overnights 10:30 pm-7 am, I work a .7 block schedule, so I work 3 days one weeks and 4 the next. I have a heeleShepard mix who's a little over a year old. He's housebroken, has history of separation anxiety so I usually give him a calming treat a half an hour before I leave for work.
When I'm at work he's locked in my room and sleeps when I'm gone, I can only assume he sleeps, I don't have a camera for proof. But nothing is ever disturbed in my room by him. I'll even pop in a few minutes after locking him up to grab something I've forgotten and he's laying in my spot. His separation anxiety has seemingly gotten a lot better since I started working overnights vs 2:30-10:30 shift.
When I work I'll get home anytime between 6:30 and 7:30 am, because it's cold right now I let him out for about an hour unless he sits by the door and wants to come in right away after doing his business. Then I usually stay up for a while in my room (which sadly doesn't have any windows) so he doesn't get to see sunshine when I'm in here with the door shut. But if I'll lay down for a nap he'll sleep with me. This is when I feed him breakfast and he'll take all day to eat.
I only sleep for a few hours, from 10-3 is a normal range for me. Then I'll take him for a 20-30 min walk after I wake up. Usually switching up where we walk everyday so he's got more to smell. Then when we get home sometimes I'll take him to the yard and play with a ball or just chase him around the yard because he likes to be fast.
But around 7-8 I'll wind down, feed him and relax before work.
On my days off I don't sleep until 3 I usually try to be up by 12. I'll take him out of the house and bring him somewhere he can go off leash and explore. The weather is warming up so I'm hoping to incorporate a morning walk in after I get home from work. We're also moving where he has a yard and river and woods to play in and someone he can be around when I'm gone (I'm so lucky he likes my dad, he's definitely a 1 person type of dog)
I still feel like I'm doing something wrong, I'm not doing enough. He's a high energy breed and he's a reactive dog. Bringing him places is hard when other dogs will be around but I'm trying to train him on being better.
Sorry for the long post, I just wanted to be thorough as possible so maybe you can see my situation and maybe suggest ways I can be better for him.
submitted by beige-king to dogs [link] [comments]

2023.04.02 14:34 Hairlossworrier Oral minox and shedding process question?

So apologies if this is a silly question. Im almost 6 weeks into using low dose oral minox started at 0.25mg and for the last 2 weeks moved to 0.625mg. Im positive the last 2 weeks my shedding has increased of course i expected this but i was already shedding alot and seeing more of my scalp and the extra hair loss its hard to stay positive. Does anybody know with the initial shed is it just kicking out the old hairs and leaving the follicle empty for a while or is it a case of the new hair pushing out the old? Hoping its the second seems much easier to see hair loss knowing its coming back lol.
submitted by Hairlossworrier to FemaleHairLoss [link] [comments]

2023.04.02 14:33 Marlin1895mxlr First ever trip: 3.5g golden teachers lemon tek

Hi all,
INTRO (Skip to REPORT if not interested)
After reading Entangled Life by Merlin Sheldrake last year I became very interested in the potential of psilocybin. I've done a lot of hanging around on Reddit, reading Double Blind and watching a few videos. I was fascinated by the revelatory and therepuetic effects people were reporting.
I obtained some GT spores and a grow bag and within a couple of months had my own little harvest. My partner and I set the date a couple of months back, got everything ready but amazingly she became pregnant so would be my sober trip sitter!
I'm 45 (yes an old new father!), don't drink or smoke, I eat wild protein where possible (hunt deer), gym, BJJ, own a surf school and work part time in terrestrial conservation, lead a simple life. I became interested because I wanted to delve into my theory of what lies beneath the fundamental forces of the universe: electromagnetism, strong and weak nuclear forces, gravity. (Hobby natural scientist too).
I've had some rough times like everyone but have been journaling and meditating a lot last couple of months which has been quite freeing.
(First experience of beauty)
1400: 2.5g lemon tek with honey, down the hatch, bits and all. I really don't mind the taste of the GTs.
Just relaxing on the sofa under a big clean white duvet with my partner watching Top Gun Maverick. Half an hour alter touch started to feel fantastic. My arms felt longer when I hugged my partner but nothing else was happening. After an hour I just thought I should do a bit more.
1500: 1.2g lemon tek as above. Half an hour later I saw a pattern appear on a white wall and then the wall started breathing. It was so gentle and natural and looked perfect. It felt like I had been sprinkled with magic dust and been 'let in'. I watched the window blinds appearing to gentle ripple in the breeze (the blinds are inside) in fascination. On my partners skin I saw blood vessels and intricate detail. It softly turned purple and began to move. I was stunned and in rapture at the beauty unfolding around me.
First closed eye visuals revealed a beautiful vaulting interior of a temple drawn in neon lines.
(Intense come-up)
Then a strong sympathetic nervous system response kicked in and I began yawning, heart rate increased and I needed to walk some energy off. We got the dogs together and put on warm coats. That all felt quite intense! Outside the intensity dropped a little but I was very cold with all the blood dumped to my muscles and away from the superficial skin. I felt very light (b/c blood in muscles I presume). More yawning to supply muscles with oxygen. I was completely aware of reality but could see wonderful neon tints in my dogs fur, movement in leaves, patterns on the grass, vibrancy in wood grain. We walked down to the ocean but it didn't look any different to normal. We passed a lot of other dog walkers, I wondered if I would get paranoid like being heavily stoned, but it was not so.
The adrenaline was coming in strong waves and bringing mild nausea with it. I felt it would be best to go home and face this head on. I had a bit of indecision getting to that point. We had agreed beforehand that the trip sitter would not mock the tripper, but I think a bit of banter and piss-taking would have helped a bit as everything felt a tad serious because of all the adrenaline sloshing around.
(Headphones and lie down: journey within)
I went upstairs to bed while she stayed downstairs to finish Maverick. I felt I needed to be alone rather than stressing out and having her rub my back and tell me it's ok! Headphones on and Spotify psilocybin playist. I was still getting moving and patterning visuals and my hands were particularly interesting. HR still high, still feeling very adrenalised and awkward. I tried to relax and lean into the stress and feel where it was, but got stuck in a loop.
I can't remember exactly what got me out of it but it might have been 5 seconds of mantra, just thinking 'what the hell' or perhaps the first dose wearing off a bit. Eyes closed, I found myself soaring towards a huge temple wall in the distance full of shapes and faces. Some with jagged teeth. I told myself nothing was here to do me harm.
I could see bright, purple and pink oceanscapes. Suddenly I realised I had sunk into a calmness and was feeling the beauty again. I had a brief moment of self doubt. I brought to mind my recently departed father (we were somewhat estranged) but saw him smiling and sunlit. I saw my ex of 9 years, I thought 'Oh don't let this trip be all about you' (the breakup was very sad but inevitable and we wish eachother the best). But she was soon gently carried away in some bright green lillies and lush aquatic plants. I could feel she was just fine and I wouldn't see her again this trip.
Now I could feel the love that these two people had poured into me. I became aware that we channel the universe's energy by way of chemical energy in our food and all our lives try to radiate the love out. I thought of my mother selflessy doing so much out of love for my sister and I (for as long as I've known her haha) and then tears started streaming. I could see the world as overlapping networks of love spreading out from families into other families. I felt that since the beginning of life love had been leaprfrogging through time via evolutions and down generations driving reproductive behaviours and guiding the ecology of species. 'Cruelties' of nature were the unvierse finding the clearest path for love to continue flowing as energy into the future.
I realised I didn't ever want two people I love to feel hatred towards one another. All of this was set to absolutely gorgeous visuals and colours. The patterns and vaulting scenes had given way to nature-scapes.
I thought of my upcoming fatherhood and saw bright colourful flowers above ground against a white backdrop.
The tears stopped and I opened my eyes. I felt as though I had resolved something or accomplished something very significant.
(Back in the room)
I went downstairs just as Maverick had finished. The inner journey lasted one hour. I told my partner that I had just experienced something amazing and that now I felt completely clear headed and could feel no further effects. My appetite had returned. I felt absolutely refreshed and calm. I could have stood on a platform and delivered a public speech. Before I wondered if there would be a hangover or some artifacts but I just felt calm and good.
It's a few days later and reflecting back I think I got insight into my question as to what is underliyng the fundamental forces of the universe. Why does it to what it does? Why do we have concentration gradients, electrical charge, electron distribution orbitals and so on? To me it seems that this is the way to continue to spread one love that everything has sprung from.
I've got decent second flush coming on in the grow bag but don't feel any need to go deep within again for a while. I'd like to go back to the breathing walls again, but don't know if I'll get struck by the same bliss as it was so unexpected this first time.
I understand now what people say when they describe these mushrooms as intense and what respect really means. This is unlike anything else I have experienced. It's not a drug, to me it doesn't even feel like medicine. Someone on here described it as a gift, that's what it feels like to me.
submitted by Marlin1895mxlr to shrooms [link] [comments]

2023.04.02 14:32 ArianaGrandesCumm 10 abstinence commandments. You'll never watch again.

Well, as someone who has masturbated so much I actually got a rotator cuff like a mlb pitcher. I have been through the trenches to come bearing the 10 porn commamdments. To help fellow kings break it.
1 (Rewiring) - First step is easier said than done. But one must actively try to see the flaws and grossness in all things beautiful. See the brown leaves in flowers. And begin to teach yourself how gross sex generally is. (Never say it directly to a girl this is only an exercise of the brain to find them ugly). For example. Do you want to fap to Ariana Grande? Is she hot? Well keep in mind she has actual pig lard, injected into her face. Her skin is lathered in bacteria. Her skelenton shows and she looks like Marys mother in spongebob. See her artificialness. Think of how she is probably unkept. Think of her having a perpetual yeast infection. Anytime you think of a girl. Think of yeast infections, gross skin and her puking on you. Its not about degrading women. But taking tjem off this obsessive pedestal you have them on. Work towards only finding 1 girl beautiful. Girlfriend. Now this doesn't mean I feel this way about women. Just you gotta think this to break a cycle. You can admire them when you are better.
2 - Anytime you go to masturbate. Pretend your dead relatives are watching. Which they really are. Imagine the eye contact. Always think this.
3 - Put parental blocks against porn on your modem and browsers. Make the admin password to change it difficult to remember then throw it away. Your household must be clean.
4 - Read the bible and find faith. Abstaining is easier when you realize how much Jesus sacraficed for you. (If you're not religious skip)
5 - Chastity cage. If a penis is behind bars. It can't distribute the white stuff like El Chapo.
6 - Pour isopropyl alcohol on your ball bag everytime you fap. Humble the plums. Your brain will associate the cumming with the pure pain. Gotta stick to it.
7 - Desensitize by watching pretty girls daily. Keep mindful of your thoughts. Remain present. Keep thinking of things you'd do to them. Replace sexual thoughts with romantic thoughts. Think of how violated she'd feel if you only wanted to bone. Think of her as a person. Build from there.
8 - Go on the reddit "creepy pms" and look at all these horny depraved humans. Think this is how you look to people. Study what porn does and it's adverse effects
9 - 3 Liters Of Water Per Day Minimum
10 - Put goals first. Make a calendar progress chart. Reward yourself for streaks. Go 30 days? You get to jerk off once. Not to porn. But to imagination. Rewire sexuality. Strive for greatness.
These are all my lessons as a psychology major who was addicted to porn.
submitted by ArianaGrandesCumm to pornfree [link] [comments]

2023.04.02 14:30 xXKikitoXx I really need to up my anxiety meds. (Bk2 - 3.5)

‘Tick, tick, tick, tick-’
“Stop it.” I said quietly under my breath.
‘-tick, tick, tick-’ Ronové was repeating the sound in time with the pendulum swinging on the clock across the room and it was slowly driving me insane.
“Why are you doing that?”
‘Tick, tick, tick, tick, tick-’
“Shut up!” I shouted finally and at least three sets of unnatural eyes turned to me, “Sorry, voices.”
“You’re possessed?” It was a fairy named Baltzar who asked.
“A little bit.”
“That does explain the witch’s magic.”
‘Tick, tick, tick…’
“What? Oh yeah. It would be nicer if he was helpful though.” I joked, sometimes it was difficult to separate what Ron was thinking to me from what other people were saying. He didn’t answer me then, he was doing something, I won’t pretend to know what.
“Well?” Eric asked tensely, though his expression was perfectly neutral. Actually, I hadn’t seen any flicker of emotion at all in days.
He stood beside Nathaniel’s hospital bed with his arms folded, watching every move Baltzar made with scrutiny. His arm was coated in magic all the way to his collarbone, and his hair was combed back so that his right eye was clearly visible. I had seen him be relaxed about hiding his abnormalities when we were at home. But this was different, it was more like he was displaying them as a warning.
“He’s doing well. His vitals are stable, the salt is largely flushed from his system and his internal energy is reaching an equilibrium.”
“When will he wake.”
Baltzar shrugged, “How should I know? He will wake when his body has the energy to do so.”
Nathaniel was the only one that hadn’t regained consciousness. Calla was the first. I had found her lying in the street and the injury on her side was… Well, I’ve seen roadkill that looked better. Her dress was dirty and torn, and blood pooled around her. I didn’t think she was going to make it.
I pressed my hand firmly on the wound to stem the bleeding but her blood was so slick that I slipped more than once and it welled up between my fingers. ‘She’s not going to make it.’ Ronové commented casually echoing my thoughts, he sounded amused.
“Shut up.” I hissed. I didn’t want to hear anything from Ron at that point. Calla coughed as she tried to talk, blood dribbled out her mouth but whatever she said was inaudible. I think she knew that because she tried again.
“Wh–’s… E..ric?” It still took me a moment to understand.
Around us was chaos and I couldn’t see Eric anywhere, it was like a war zone. A haze of smoke filled the air, making it even harder to see anything. The only light came from freely burning fires and bright fairy magic. Ash fell from the sky like snow once the rain had let up, and to make matters worse it was bitterly cold, I don't know how no one else seemed to realize that.
Achaicus was fighting Lazarus and each blast of energy broke part of the castle, sending clouds of dust and rubble in all directions. It was all I could do to keep Calla somewhat protected from it. I didn’t know what I would do if they came in our direction. The fear in that thought nearly sent me into a panic attack.
“I don’t know where he is, but I'm sure he’s fine.” I tried to soothe her, she was so pale and her eyes slowly closed. “Calla no. You have to stay awake, can you do that for me?”
I patted her cheek gently to force her to open her eyes again and she did for a moment, “Okay, good, that’s good you’re doing great. Just breathe through it.” Was I talking her out of dying? Or coaching her through birth? Truthfully I didn’t know what to say, everything sounded dumb to me.
A shock wave of magic deflected off a sword shattered the windows above us and I did my best to cover her from the falling glass. It was terrifying being on the ground while monsters fought. I had never seen anything quite alike to it. I was definitely going to need to up the dosage on my anxiety meds after this.
I could almost feel Calla’s life slipping away when suddenly someone was beside me, pushing my hands away and replacing them with their own magic hands. “You’ve done well, let me.” It took a solid moment before I understood, it was a ghoul…
Gratefully I let her take over, when I stood I was shaking so bad that my legs felt like jelly. Calla’s blood soaked my shirt and pants, she had lost so much. But, magic can fix that right? I didn’t know. I couldn’t really think.
It was only by chance that I saw Eric, he was pushing his way out of a pile of rubble. It must’ve fallen on him during the fight and I thought he might be hurt so I moved right away to help him.
“I thought you were dead somewhere.” The relief I felt was immeasurable as I assisted him out.
“I’m fine, what about Calla?” He dismissed my concern. His hair and clothes were coated in dust. His right eye was nothing more than an empty socket, his nails were all blackened and his good eye seemed unusually blue. I hadn’t seen him without his monster arm and eye before and I’m ashamed to say I recoiled with the shock of it.
“Charles, focus, tell me about Calla?” he demanded firmly as I fell back on my haunches.
“She, she’s, a ghoul is-”
“And Nathaniel?” He cut me off before I could finish explaining.
“I don’t know he was-” Eric was gone before I could complete the sentence. Apparently he wasn’t injured at all.
After that everything was mostly a blur and I think I might have passed out because when I woke up I was laying on a hospital bed in the infirmary. Calla was in the bed beside mine, and Nathaniel was on the other side of her. Eric was sitting between the two with his cane across his lap and a sword resting close by, ready to be used at any moment.
Now let me tell you, fairy hospitals are weird, well, ‘outdated’ I suppose is a more appropriate term. It’s a wide space with tall timber framed windows along one side, and elaborate landscape paintings decorating the other. Small tables with flower vases ran down the center and there was very little medical equipment. There were no partitions between areas and metal beds with simple linens lined either side of the room in neat rows.
It was a surprisingly cold, sterile place considering the amount of light that shone in. I’m not really sure what I expected. Our beds were on the window side, while Markos was on the other side opposite them. My sister of course sat with him. She had dragged over an empty bed so that she could lay close to him.
There weren’t all that many people in the room, there was a ghoul, Hanta, standing beside the door and Eric looked over when I sat up.
“Good afternoon, Charles,” he commented. He hadn’t recovered fully at that point and the fae magic on his arm was only up to his forearm. But I noticed his fingernails were no longer black and his right eye was restored.
“Afternoon? How long was I out?”
“Only a few hours.” He assured, “How are you feeling?”
“Like I’ve been hit by a bus, how’s everyone else?”
“They will be alright.”
“Ahh that’s a relief-” I began but Eric cut me off abruptly.
“You disobeyed me.”
The way he looked at me seemed cold, and the complete lack of emotion in his voice made me feel like I was in trouble, “Yeah… I’m sorry about that.”
“You used a magic I warned you not to, and almost got yourself, and Nathaniel, killed. It would have been unforgivable if you had and I don’t take kindly to what I’m saying being blatantly disregarded. Do you understand?”
“I’m sorry… I didn’t mean to-” I had no good answer for him. He was angry in a way that burned cold and I knew it.
“You should be sorry. You’re important and irreplaceable.” he said it so calmly I wasn’t sure if he meant it, “...and, you saved Calla’s life. If you weren’t there she would have bled out. So I will forgive you, only this one time.”
I understood then that he was scared. I had scared him by putting myself in harms way, and this was his way of telling me.
“It won’t happen again...” I assured softly.
“...Thank you.”
I smiled and it was as I was about to make a terribly lame joke that Calla moved. She winced slightly as she tried to sit up but Eric was quick to stop her. “Don’t move too fast.”
“Where are we..?”
“The infirmary, still at Leúchtend.”
“We won?”
“Yes, Achaicus beat Lazarus.”
She paused for a moment processing, “...Markos?”
“He’ll be fine.”
“And Charles?” she asked next.
“Right here.” I spoke up and she turned to look at me with wide confused eyes. It was the first time I had seen her without make-up, and I was surprised to see that her eyelashes were partially white. Was she part fairy?
“That really hurt when you pressed on my side.” She mumbled the complaint.
“Ahhh, right. Sorry about that.” I was having to apologize a lot for one day.
She reached out to take my hand, squeezing it in hers and catching me off guard, “Thank you.” These people with their monotone and lack of expression, I had no idea if she meant it or not either.
“You, I, welcome?” Good job Charles, that made no sense, I thought bitterly.
‘No kidding.’ Ron answered bored, though I ignored him.
Calla nodded like she understood regardless and turned back to Eric, “I’m so sorry…”
“You have nothing to be sorry for.”
“I wasn’t strong enough, you had to fight them on your own. I let you down… I’m useless.”
“Hardly.” he responded simply and tears began to well in her eyes. She needed more than a single word answer and it took Eric a moment to realize it before he elaborated, “Calla, you killed a dragon single handedly. There’s not one other person in this entire castle that could say that.”
“I'm sorry…”
It took Eric some effort, but he stood with his cane and moved close enough to hug her. “Don't be, you have nothing to be sorry for.”
Calla didn’t stay awake long after that, only long enough to have a small amount of food before settling in to sleep more peacefully.
Markos was the next to wake the following day and when he did Claire threw her arms around him without any care. Dissolving into relieved sobs. He winced but made no complaint as he slowly returned the hug, pulling her close against him as if it brought him some comfort. She murmured something in his ear and he froze.
“...I beg your pardon?” he asked quietly.
However she didn’t repeat herself, instead she slowly let go of him, holding his face in her hands, “Are you alright? How do you feel?” she asked the questions in rapid fire.
He seemed unable to comprehend what she had said, and it took a moment for him to find his voice again. “I’m okay… How are you here?” He covered one of her hands with his and closed his eyes.
“Oh well... I-”
“She insisted I bring her.” Ávila mused as she entered the room and sat heavily on the edge of Markos’s bed and his eyes snapped open. For a moment he looked feral, like a startled cat, then his expression settled into a hard glare.
“It’s dangerous for her to be here.”
“She’s fine. Can’t lift a sword though.”
“They’re heavy.” Claire agreed, looking apologetic.
“What happened to Lazarus?”
“Achaicus beat him in combat and he is currently imprisoned under guard.”
“How many guards? Is he weakened? Is there salt?” He asked, gradually getting more irritated as he tried to get out of the bed.
“Relax, broken man. Everything is under control. Lazarus is well guarded.”
“And then who is protecting Dunkel if you’re here?” He growled, still annoyed.
“Tougo is at Dunkel and Achaicus is in control here. No one is going to attack anyone. And if they do, they’ll regret it.”
He didn’t seem satisfied with her answers, but Claire urging him to lay back down subdued him as Ávila continued to chatter away. I won’t pretend to understand how fairy magic and healing works, but apparently broken bones would only take a few days to mend. Not that he seemed pleased with even that, he was up and walking by the next day, despite Claire insisting he rest.
Days passed and Eric rarely left the room. The longest he was gone was only a few hours and that was only when Ávila agreed to stay in his place. There was a ghoul on guard at the door at all times and Achaicus visited regularly.
He sat beside Nathaniel on the opposite side of Eric and the pair of them waited for hours at a time in silence.
“Achaicus,” It was a female fairy who spoke, not anyone I knew, and two others accompanied her. It was regular that someone would come looking for him with some request or another, and he would often reluctantly leave. “The repair team are having trouble matching the mortar color to the original. They would like to know which alternative color you would prefer-”
“Get out.” Eric said calmly.
“But I-”
“Don't make me repeat myself. If the matter isn’t urgent, don’t interrupt.”
The woman looked unsure, her bright yellow eyes flicking to Achaicus for confirmation. “Pick whatever color is closest to the original.”
“Of course my lord.” She bowed appreciatively before leaving.
“You don’t have to answer their stupid questions.” Eric told him annoyed.
“I do…”
“No, you don’t.”
“I’m the leader, it’s my job now to handle any issues that arise.”
“Get Molly to deal with it.”
“If you would allow her into the room, perhaps I could.”
“With her gift? I think not.” he muttered as he got up and limped away to speak with someone at the doors. I couldn’t hear what was said, but I was sure he was barring anyone else from entering unless it was life or death.
“I see your attitude problem never went away.” Achaicus muttered, though he seemed grateful despite his words.
“I heard that.” Eric commented, lightly tugging on his hair on the way past when he returned.
“Don’t pull my hair.”
“I’ll do what I like.”
“Then I’ll have you thrown into the dungeons.”
“Please.” Eric snorted, they were surprisingly amicable, in a hostile kind of way.
“I don’t know how Nathaniel stands you.”
“Same way you do.”
“With a knife to the eye?”
“Careful, I’m sure you remember what happened last time you commented on my eyes.”
Achaicus looked shocked, his ears heating with embarrassment. It was clear Eric had mentioned something they weren’t supposed to talk about and it took him a full moment to process before he could respond, “I was drunk!”
“So was I.”
“I can’t leave you two alone for a second can I?” Nathaniel asked softly and they both paused.
“Brother…” Achaicus murmured, turning his full attention to Nathaniel and hugging him tightly, “Finally…”
“You’re still in bandages, how long has it been?” He returned the hug gently patting his brother’s hair to soothe him.
“Never mind about me.”
“It’s been four days.” Eric answered for him.
“And… Our father?”
“Securely locked up.” Achaicus assured as he slowly let go, “But you, you look awful. And you need to cut your hair, it’s getting too long.”
“Like you’re one to talk.”
Achaicus chuckled, “I’m glad you’re awake…”
“I didn’t expect to be.” he answered honestly.
“Don’t say things like that.” Eric scolded him and he looked apologetic.
“Were you hurt?”
“He had not a scratch on him.” Achaicus answered before Eric could.
“...I’m so glad…”
“Yeah, okay, why don’t you worry about yourself?” Eric grumbled uncomfortably.
For a moment it looked like Nathaniel was going to question him further however a commotion at the door drew their attention.
“I-I was told n-not to let anyone in..”
“Nonsense, I’m their mother.”
“It’s fine Hanta,” Eric called casually, and the woman quickly sidestepped him.
She was slender with no curves, and surprisingly young. It looked like she was in her 30’s at most and I chose not to even try and work out the math on that. Her hair was long and white with a red-ish hue, while her eyes were the same purple as Markos’s. She was wearing a black dress and matching gloves all the way to her elbows.
“Mother, what are you doing here?” Nathaniel asked coldly and she stopped awkwardly.
“...You’re my son’s…”
Neither answered but I recognised their expressions. It was the same one Claire and I had the one time we had accidentally ran into our parents while we were out shopping. Polite, awkward, uncertainty. Like they didn’t want to talk to her, but didn’t know how to tell her to leave.
The woman looked to Eric and he nodded slightly so she continued, “I- well… I know, I haven’t been much of a mother to you… I couldn’t protect you from your father as I should have… But I would like to remedy that… If I could… may I hug you..?”
“...No..” Nathaniel answered for them both quietly, tensely.
“Oh… I see, that’s okay… I deserve that. I just wanted to make sure you’re alright. I’m glad to see you’re both okay.” Again she was met with silence as neither of her son’s answered and she shifted her weight awkwardly, “Right, well… Please come see me when you are able so that we might talk. If you want… I mean, I would like that… if you could…”
“Good day, mother.” Achaicus bid her farewell curtly, and she gave a small bow before departing.
The whole interaction made me uncomfortable, the woman was trying. That was more than Claire’s and my mother ever did. It hurt to watch and the awkward silence that followed only made it worse as the weight hung heavy in the air.
“You should speak with her.” Eric said gently.
“Since when were you on her side? And why should we? She never did anything to help us.” Nathaniel answered bitterly but Achaicus looked less sure.
Eric didn’t get the chance to respond before the doors opened and Baltzar returned with Markos. “It’s good to see you’re awake. Now you can put a muzzle on your dog, his barking was becoming tiresome.”
“Careful Baltzar, his bite is far worse than his bark.” Markos mused.
“I’m not a dog, so you had both better shut up.” Eric snapped in response.
“See, now that is exactly what I’m talking about, and I'm sure you can imagine my dismay when I learned commands don’t work on him.”
“Then I’m sure your dismay will only increase when you learn that my brother prefers not to command his pet.”
“He’s in fact extremely willful, and commands often backfire when given to him, so I prefer not to waste my efforts giving them. Now what is it that you want?”
Baltzar looked displeased while Eric’s expression didn’t change, “I came to inform Achaicus that we have been unable to locate Radomir, or Belle, and there are a handful of guards unaccounted for.”
‘Ahhh, your old friend.’ Ronové mused and I felt a chill run down my spine.
“Quiet.” I mumbled under my breath, though no one seemed to notice as they continued.
“I would suggest Radomir has likely fled to Europe with a small group, and that we should expect a visit from Ælfric.” Markos speculated casually although the notion seemed to make everyone nervous.
“I’ve already sent a letter to our grandfather, hopefully it will arrive before Radomir.” Achaicus muttered, rubbing his temples.
It was then that the doors to the infirmary were pushed open with some force. “Listen you fucking shit- Let me into this fucking room!” Killian shouted, his bright eyes were crazed with rage and it looked like he had run the entire way from wherever he had been.
“I-I really can’t, I-I’ve been given strict instructions-” Hanta looked distressed, this was the third time he had been forced to tell someone they weren’t allowed to enter and he looked more than a little flustered.
Baltzar rolled his eyes, “Calm down Killian, it’s not like we can’t hear you from the doorway, what is it?”
“Lazarus is fucking, gone!”
Achaicus and Nathaniel both tensed, while Baltzar clicked his tongue in annoyance. “What do you mean gone?!”
“I mean, his cell is fucking EMPTY.
“That’s not possible.” Markos hissed, “I double checked his containment myself.”
“What do you think then? I’m just making this shit up!? He’s not fucking in there!”
“Well, what is in there?”
It took Killian a second to understand what he meant, “Nothing, there’s nothing. No traces of anything, no magic, no signs of a struggle, nothing, just salt. It’s like he vanished.”
“So send the guards out. I want everyone searching for him all the way to the borders of our lands.” Achaicus spoke up at last.
“Brother, I need to return to Dunkel in case he attacks the castle.” Nathaniel added.
“You don't need to do any of that, it’s pointless, and you’re in no state to travel let alone defend a castle.” Eric sighed, he was the only one who hadn’t reacted to the news in any way.
“You sound certain. How can you be sure?”
“Lazarus isn’t a concern, you need to rest…” he spoke more gently to Nathaniel and he hesitated slightly, though he said nothing more.
“What’s that mean he’s not a concern? If he attacks us now we can mark this as the shortest reign in history, or an altogether failed take over!” Baltzar sneered but Markos spoke up.
“...The Orphan is right. Lazarus has been sitting in a room with salt and received no medical attention. He’s slow and weak. He won't attack Dunkel, it’s more likely he will simply try to flee to Grosartig like Radomir and searching will waste resources. If we simply set up barrier points instead, we’ll know where he is when he crosses one.”
“You’re always just so smart aren’t you Markos?”
“It's just simple logic, Baltzar. If the orphan can come to the same conclusion, I’m sure you can too.”
“Fine, want to place a wager on when he will cross a barrier point?”
Markos smiled, “Certainly.”
With the new development most of them left. Although Markos was forced to stay because Claire refused to let him leave after he began bleeding through his bandages. Hanta swapped out for Yura, though she was more interested in talking to Nathaniel. Or at least she was, until Eric told her to leave so he could rest in no uncertain terms, and then he took over the watch himself when she departed.
There wasn’t really a lot to do in the meantime. I was too afraid to leave the room without someone else with me, and Ron must’ve run out of the energy to torment me so he was quiet as well. Vaguely I was aware that I was supposed to be in court, but I tried to think about other things instead of my torpedoed career.
When Calla woke up I talked with her for a while. She's a little bit hard to talk to only because she’s so similar to Eric. She doesn't hold conversation organically, answers questions minimally and her only hobbies are training and sharpening weapons. I could see why my sister doesn't like her, Claire likes people who can talk for hours and Calla was not like that.
At dusk Eric closed all the curtains and woke Nathaniel when Achaicus arrived with a trolley of food for us. Initially Molly had tried to enter the room with him, but Eric was quick to intercept her, “You’re not welcome in here. Get out.”
“I’m simply helping my master.” she responded calmly.
“I don’t care. I said get out. You know full well you are not to enter this room.”
“So snarky little orphan, what’s got you so tense?”
“Out.” he repeated, his hand moving to the sword on his hip and she smiled.
“Very well.”
“She means no harm.” Achaicus complained.
“I said she’s not allowed in and I mean it. Unless you want me to-”
“No. No. I understand.”
Nathaniel looked curious as did I, “I would love to know what he has over you brother~”
“It’s nothing.”
“I could command him to tell me you realize-” He stopped surprised when Eric covered his mouth with his hand.
“Command me, and I swear I’ll make you regret it. Now, shut up and eat your food.” he mused slowly letting him go once his point was made. Though Nathaniel still looked shocked as Eric came to sit beside me instead. “Don't eat the fresh meat. That’s only for the fae.”
I didn’t need him to remind me what it was.
Once dinner was over, Achaicus left and Hanta returned to guard the door. Truthfully I don’t remember falling asleep, I had been talking to Eric, then the next thing I knew I was out like a light.
I woke groggily to the sound of hushed voices, it was an ungodly hour of the morning. I couldn’t read the clock across the room but I didn’t need to. Moonlight streamed in through the only open window, it was beside Nathaniel’s bed and I guessed Eric must have opened it for him. Beside me Calla was sleeping peacefully, her soft breathing was rhythmic and soothing. Across the room my sister had dragged another bed over to Markos’s so that she could lay next to him and they were sleeping still.
At the farthest end of the room Hanta had barricaded the door with a bed and was laying down on it. I assume he too was asleep since I couldn’t see the glow of his eyes and slowly I came to realize the voices were Eric and Nathaniel speaking quietly to one another.
“Stop being so cryptic, where were you?” Nathaniel was asking, though he struggled to keep his eyes open as Eric was petting his hair, slowly lulling him into sleep.
“Can you just go back to sleep already?”
“You did get lost didn't you?” he teased and Eric looked bemused.
“No, I was there. Now hush, let’s not forget you weren’t supposed to be in that courtyard.”
“…Are you mad at me?”
“Yes.” Eric answered evenly, “You put yourself and Charles in danger. Lied to him to get him to do what you wanted. What exactly was your plan if you didn’t find Achaicus..?”
“Doesn’t matter…”
“You planned on offering yourself to him in exchange for me didn't you?”
“…It would have worked..”
“That’s not the point. I wanted you safe, and you willfully disregarded what I wanted only to make yourself feel better.”
“I couldn’t let you get hurt...”
“I asked you to trust me and you didn’t.” Nathaniel looked guilty as Eric appeared annoyed. However after a moment he sighed, letting it go as he continued more gently. “Please don’t do anything like that again alright? I thought I would lose you both, and Calla. It wasn’t fun.”
“I’m sorry…”
“...You’re forgiven.”
Nathaniel seemed relieved to hear it, he closed his eyes for a moment and I assumed he would sleep, but instead he spoke again. “I thought about what you said, you know...”
“Did you?” He mused, resting his cheek on the mattress as he continued to pet Nathaniel’s hair, “I wasn’t sure you would remember.”
“I do remember.”
Nathaniel hesitated, taking in a deep breath, “… I don’t have to do what you asked of me. There is nothing stopping me from commanding you to do as I wish.” He began though Eric remained perfectly calm. If I didn’t know him better I would have said he looked bored. “However, I understand that if I were to do only what I wanted, you would be unhappy. It’s not my desire to make you miserable… So I will agree to your terms. You have nothing to fear from me, I won’t command you again.”
Eric sat up mildly surprised, as if he had been expecting him to say something else. “Do you mean that?”
“Yes… I’ve tried keeping you against your will, and I’ve tried letting you go. Neither of those things made me happy.”
“What would make you happy?”
“...If you stayed near.” he mumbled honestly but Eric didn’t answer him, he was waiting for something? I couldn’t say what it might have been, but Nathaniel seemed to understand. “Please don’t make me say the words...”
“Is it so difficult?” he sighed and Nathaniel averted his gaze, it looked like he regretted saying anything. However Eric gently tilted his chin up and I couldn’t see past him as he leaned in closer. I think he might have said something but I didn’t hear it. Or maybe there was some weird cultural thing I didn’t know about?
When Eric pulled away Nathaniel looked uncertain, if not mildly embarrassed. “...Does that mean you’ll stay?”
“I’ll stay some of the time. I still have work to do, and I need to help Charles… I sort of got him fired from his job.”
“I thought you fixed that?”
“I tried… but he missed his court date for me. It was yesterday…”
“...I can compel anyone you need me to.”
Eric smiled tightly, “Don’t tempt me. More wrongs don’t make things right.”
“Can I ask you something?”
“If you have to ask for permission to ask, I'm inclined to say no.”
“You said my father was of no concern, how did you know that?”
“Let’s not talk about that right now…”
“You know something don’t you?”
“Nathaniel, please… trust me, not tonight.”
The fae regarded him for a long moment, “I want you to take my car again, stop riding that death trap.” he bargained instead.
“I suppose that means you’re not giving my bike back?”
“What are you talking about? I don’t have it.” he said bemused and Eric scoffed.
“Please. I know it was you.”
“I have no idea what you’re talking about, but if someone’s stolen your motorcycle I owe them a word of gratitude.”
“You truly don’t have it?”
“Regrettably no.”
“I’d like to say I only saved you for my bike, so finding out you don’t have it is unfortunate.”
“Sorry to disappoint.” he chuckled quietly and Eric rolled his eyes.
“You’re insufferable.”
“Is that so?”
“Yes…” I thought I saw Eric smile when he spoke and Nathaniel leaned in close to him so that I couldn’t see between them. Neither of them spoke again, or if they did I didn’t hear it. Not that I was really paying attention anymore.
I’m not sure how much time passed as I drifted between wakefulness and dreamless sleep, but it felt like hours before I got up to use the restroom. Moving painstakingly slow, trying to be as quiet as I could so that I wouldn’t disturb anyone. By then Eric was asleep, leaning on the bed over Nathaniel and they didn’t stir as I passed.
The most challenging part about getting out of the rooms was getting past Hanta. Thankfully he had left a small gap between himself and the door and I managed to squeeze through.
In the hall it was dark and quiet, “I could use a little help.” I whispered.
‘What’s the matter, can't see in the dark?’ Ronové taunted.
“Obviously not.”
‘That must be a ‘weird cultural thing’.’
“It doesn’t even make sense, why would my lack of eyes be cultural?”
‘Hopeless.’ he mused, but the hall suddenly brightened as my eyes enhanced.
“Thanks.” I grumbled.
Being able to see more made the area only slightly less terrifying and when I heard voices coming from the hall ahead I panicked. I didn’t want to run into any fae in the dark. Without a second thought about it I ducked into the nearest room, closing the door quietly without looking around.
“Stop being ridiculous, his aura is human.”
“Baltzar, I fucking, SWEAR he was dead! I saw it with my own eyes, but he crawled out of the rubble like a fucking- I don’t even know!”
“You also thought Markos and his pet were dead, but you were clearly mistaken. Now I have better things to do than entertain your paranoia.”
“I’m not crazy, I know what I fucking saw! Can you check him with your magic or something-” he stopped abruptly. They were right outside the door, and I realized I must’ve hidden exactly where they intended to go.
“Who’s there?”
“What are you two conspiring about?” I recognized Markos’s voice.
“Nothing, Killian is paranoid. He thinks Nathaniel’s pet isn’t human.”
“Human’s don’t get, fucking, stabbed and buried in rubble and walk away without a scratch!” Killian hissed.
“Nothing does, so clearly you were mistaken.” Markos assured.
“I’m not-!”
“Killian.” Baltzar warned and Killian lowered his voice automatically.
“Fucks sake.”
“Why are you up at this hour then Markos?”
“Checking the halls for Lazarus?”
“It doesn’t hurt to be vigilant.”
“You just can’t stand the thought of losing. There’s no way he’s still in the castle.”
“You can never be too careful.”
Baltzar snorted, “Right.”
“I suggest you return to your quarters now, lurking in the halls doesn’t look good.” Markos mused casually, though the threat in his words wasn’t subtle and I heard footsteps departing.
‘Makes you wonder why he’s lurking in the halls doesn’t it?’ Ron commented bemused.I didn’t answer, if I spoke now I was sure he would hear me.
“You can come out now, Charles.” Markos commented and I froze. Momentarily considering whether or not I believed he truly knew I was there. “I know you’re there, don’t play games.”
Reluctantly I opened the door to see Markos leaning against the wall with his arms folded, his purple eyes glowing in the darkness. “You shouldn’t walk about the halls without someone accompanying you.”
“I’m a big boy, I think I can find the bathroom on my own.”
“Is that why you’re hiding in the armory?”
“You’re a weak bag of flesh in a castle of the fae. Best to watch your step. Now come, I’ll take you back.”
I didn’t move, “Why are you out here?”
‘That’s not smart Charlie boy.’ Ronové commented tensely.
“I don’t need to explain myself to you.” he answered simply as he began to walk expecting me to follow.
I was beginning to understand why Eric guarded his emotions so carefully. This was a dangerous place, and we were in dangerous company.
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2023.04.02 14:29 kayenano The Villainess Is An SS+ Rank Adventurer: Chapter 25

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Juliette Contzen is a lazy, good-for-nothing princess. Overshadowed by her siblings, she's left with little to do but nap, read … and occasionally cut the falling raindrops with her sword. Spotted one day by an astonished adventurer, he insists on grading Juliette's swordsmanship, then promptly has a mental breakdown at the result.
Soon after, Juliette is given the news that her kingdom is on the brink of bankruptcy. At threat of being married off, the lazy princess vows to do whatever it takes to maintain her current lifestyle, and taking matters into her own hands, escapes in the middle of the night in order to restore her kingdom's finances.
Tags: Comedy, Adventure, Action, Fantasy, Copious Ohohohohos.

Chapter 25: Daily Grind
I found Apple chewing at the door handle to the alchemy shop. He raised his head when he saw me, snorted, then went back to chewing the wood.
I shooed him away, then gave him the last apple from the saddlebags instead.
Today had been a productive day for the both of us. I'd done away with miscreants and mages both, and he'd done away with everything green in a large circle around where he was tied up. Given enough time, I was certain he would have chewed through the door handle as well, and then the door itself.
It would have been marvellously useful. We needed to go through it.
Coppelia and I had unfinished business here. Officially requisitioning Apple back into my employ as my noble, if rather slow steed was a must. But so was ensuring that any evidence of Marina Lainsfont's crimes was secured, as well as hints on where she could have gone.
Neither of us expected to find Marina in the shop itself. But it was the abode of a powerful mage. And that meant the possibility of unforeseen danger.
We'd need to be respectful of potential traps, and that meant discretion.
“[Coppelia Kick]!”
Thus, the door to her shop flew inside as Coppelia roundhouse kicked it with a smile.
“What happened to discretion?!” I said, aghast at the damage it could have caused Coppelia's shoes. They were the nicest things she owned. “You said you were going to check the door for traps!”
“I did check the door for traps!”
“Then why is it now on the floor?!”
“There are two ways to check for traps. The dumb way and the Coppelia way. Dumb people cast counterspells and fiddle with locks until eventually, their spells and fancy hands fail one time and they blow up. Poof! If I kick the door down, then there's nothing to open and nothing to trigger.”
“You don't need to say the Coppelia way. You can just say wanton violence.”
“It works, though!” Coppelia stuck her leg past the doorway, paused, then skipped inside while pretending she hadn't just waited to see if she blew up. “And besides, it was a door. What are doors for if not to kick down?”
I raised an eyebrow. I also didn't walk in after her.
“Your library doesn't have any doors, does it?”
“Not anymore, no,” she said cheerfully. “Coming in?”
I waited five seconds for any explosions to occur, then followed after her. If Marina Lainsfont had planted a trap to detonate after more than five seconds, then she deserved her victory.
Inside, I was now experiencing my first act of breaking and entering a private property. Regardless of the criminal status of the owner, this was still trespass.
Luckily, laws didn't apply to me!
As a princess, any property was my own should I deem it to be. I could name a bench in the middle of a city as my private abode and anyone who sat on it would be charged with lèse-majesté. But while the option was available to me, it was problematic since I was currently masterfully incognito.
Fortunately, that problem had just solved itself.
I wasn't just here as a princess. True, I was 99% here as a princess as anything less would make me irredeemable in my own eyes. But I was also here as a newly inducted adventurer. And while that 1% meant shame and disappointment on my family name and royal heritage, it did come with a useful advantage.
Namely, that if anyone asked me why I was committing a host of minor offences, I could direct all liability onto the Adventurer's Guild!
Ohohohoho! Those fools! I'd bleed them and their reputation dry! It wasn't often I had the opportunity to plan the demise of the Adventurer's Guild, but now that I did, I took it with gusto.
I would brazenly ignore the law as usual, but now it would be the guild and not my family that were the target of the peasantry's vitriol!
My carefully constructed plan to diminish the Adventurer's Guild in the eyes of the people was taking shape. And it'd start with the ruckus Coppelia and I caused as we made our way through the narrow shop.
“The odour has become more pungent,” I noted, wrinkling my nose as I eyed the ingredients on the walls. “I thought it would become more bearable without anything green or purple or skull shaped simmering in the background.”
“Actually, I think that simmering helped overpower our senses so much that everything just became warm and hazy. Without it, we get everything as it is. Natural and raw and full of wholesome goodness.”
“I think I preferred it when it was an alarming miasma.”
“Get used to it. Adventurers dig around all the worst smelling places. That's where all the lost cats are.”
And that's where all the lost cats will stay.
Ohoho … unfortunately for our feline friends, I wasn't a cat person. I was a me person. And I cherished myself and my sense of personal hygiene dearly!
“I'll remind you that I'm an adventurer in name alone. Rest assured that any task I complete is for my own benefit, and that the Adventure's Guild is merely a fund to draw from.”
“By finding lost cats, right? I mean, they must have a huge fund for that.”
“Then it simply means there will be plenty of wide-eyed adventurers who are willing to degrade themselves with such menial tasks.”
Coppelia ceased her stooping around just to grin at me.
“And I bet they'll climb the ranks way faster than you because of it. How terrible would that be, huh? You might be F-rank forever!”
I winced.
F-rank! The … The indignity of it! The sooner the Adventurer's Guild were removed as a force in this kingdom, the better! And it had nothing to do with the sheer absurdity of the rank I'd received!
“I have no care for the arbitrary ranking system of the Adventurer's Guild,” I said, valiantly keeping the shame at bay. “Both you and I have more pressing matters to attend to than rescuing cats.”
Why, even the thought of doing a single commission which wasn't related to saving the kingdom filled me with horror. I would rather shame myself by returning to the Royal Villa with my head cowed than do anything to risk normalising fetching lost pets. That was for people like … what was his name?
Something Oddwell. The strange adventurer who'd dropped on his knees to beg for my time.
Rising through the ranks concerned people like him, not me. I was no commoner who saw prestige in adventuring through the wilderness for plaudits. Rather, to be viewed as an adventurer was abject humiliation! Who would become a wanderer of cellars and sewers if they had the acumen to seek fame and fortune through wit and diplomacy?
“I'm almost a little jealous, you know?” said Coppelia, her hands ransacking through bags, drawers and shelves. She wasn't even looking at what she pulled out. “If I wasn't an assistant librarian, I'd definitely want to see what all the fuss concerning adventuring is about.”
“Only the unimaginative fuss about adventuring. For me, this is a financial transaction. Nothing more.”
“Ooh! Who's buying what?”
“I'll sell an iota of my time as I tear down a notice for solving a kingdom-wide calamity, and in return, the guild will spill out its coffers for my assistance.”
Coppelia let out a laugh. It stopped as soon as she pulled out the strangely shaped skull from a barrel. Then she put on a huge grin as she started playing with its eye sockets.
“A reluctant adventurer,” she mused. “First time I've heard about that. I thought every wealthy girl and boy wanted to become one. You know, to get away from your stifling duties and horrendous expectations?”
I hid my smile behind my hand.
Ohohoho … my fair clockwork maiden, how little she knew!
I was not my siblings, cursed to trade smiles with the firstborn sons of mere barons as though they were worth a morsel of our time! No, my responsibilities were far more important! And gratifying!
“If you must know, I happen to be extremely fond of my duties. My orchard is the pride of my life.”
“Okay, well, I don't know what your duties are, but I'm already pretty sure they're different to what most other people do. Even the rich ones.”
Well, naturally!
I was a princess. Only my sisters could compare to me. And even amongst ourselves, none of us shared the same passions. Clarise was enamoured with her inventions and her observatory, while Florella was joyfully causing strife wherever men gazed at her.
Neither of them were quite as normal or level-headed as I was. But I cherished them nonetheless.
Suddenly, Coppelia's expression took on a serious hue.
“I don't know what you're thinking, but I feel strongly that I disagree with it.”
“E-Excuse me! Please don't claim to know what I'm thinking! That's a realm of insight and constant philosophy which would beguile the minds of all others!”
She stood up, blew some dust and dead things from herself, then purposefully eyed my idle hands.
“Is it because your mind's busy that I'm the only one looking for stuff?”
“You barrel through belongings with such disregard and nonchalance. I was enamoured. I believe you have what it takes to become an adventurer, should you ever choose to adopt the profession.”
She laughed at that. I wasn't sure why. That wasn't a joke.
“Saving kingdoms sounds like a pain. But if I finished my reading list and was a bit bored, sure, I'll do what you're doing. You know, the super embarrassing F-ranked thing.”
I gave a flick of my hair in response, resolutely standing still and not helping to sweep my hands through all these … rotting objects.
“A means to an end. Nothing more.”
“It might actually be useful, though? As an adventurer, you get more than crowns. You get information, too. That's important. The Adventurer's Guild is a useful tool. It's one of the first places I asked around in when looking for my book.”
I turned to look at Coppelia, my mouth wide.
Of … Of course!
This is why she was my future handmaiden!
The Adventurer's Guild was more than a bag of crowns! They had assets at their disposal beyond merely coin. Why, they parasited themselves not just in Tirea, but almost every other nation as well—including our neighbours to the east and south.
That meant this was an opportunity to weed out every last drop of information I could about Granholtz, Weinstadt and the Sands. What courtly information could I glean about the Grand Duchess's designs? How lost was the Royal House of Carx to revolt? Where next did the Dune King turn his golden knights and golden eyes?
Knowing how indispensable I'd become, the guild would surely bend over backwards to accommodate my every request!
Indeed, I could make use of this!
“Zilch here,” said Coppelia. “Want to look in the back with me or just stare open mouthed at how graceful I look while tearing through stuff?”
She did a spin for fun, tossing up a bundle of dried petals and herbs as she did so. I closed my mouth, then remembered I still needed to reply.
“You may look. If you still can't find anything, then endeavour to retrieve anything rare and expensive and stuff it in Apple's saddlebags. We've a great deal of expenses to cover and little time to be picky.”
“Rob everything!” Coppelia pumped her fist in the air. “Indiscriminate looting! Fill our pockets! Let's gooo~!”
I went to the counter, then began scouring it for crowns.
Rifling through drawers to expand on my personal funds was certainly a novel experience. But despite Coppelia's assertions, this wasn't robbery or looting or pocket filling. No, no, not at all.
Ohohohoho …. why, this was merely adventuring.

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