In Progress Beyond the Boundaries (Name Pending)

Discussion in 'Written Works' started by Aelin, Aug 14, 2018.

  1. Aelin Best Waifu

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    So I am doing this in hopes that it will push me to continue writing this story. At the time I was super hyped to write it, and I still am, but I get distracted easily. I am no where near the end and I passed the deadline I set for myself, so now I am trying to find another way to keep myself accountable and I also want to write another story at the same time. I need to finish one before starting the next. I plan on posting a new chapter every Wednesday, at least one chapter. I am 17 "chapters" in so far but barely feel like I am anywhere. There is so much more to write, so much more I want to share, I just need someone to hold me accountable, and hopefully this will help. Since it isn't a Wednesday I will leave you with the prologue.

    Prologue

    The road to hell is paved with good intentions. That is how the saying goes, but no one realizes just how true it is until there is a pain burning in your eternal soul. It isn’t a physical pain, no I can’t feel that anymore, but the emotional pain, and the separation, it burns deep inside me. His laugh still echoes in my mind, the shedding of the skin that I knew. I had to watch him kill my friend, thinking that what he was doing was for the good of our world, thinking it was what it took to save our world from the demons, but that wasn’t the case. It was me, this was my fault, I collected those skulls and brought them together. I failed to save my friend so he is likely also stuck in the same state as me. I could have… I should have saved him sooner, I should have done more, and I never got the chance to apologize to Tallak, for failing him. I was a cleric, it was my job to keep my friends alive, like it was theirs to keep me safe, but I failed. I pray that Saitama found peace. I pray to Torm that his sacrifice let his soul be released to go beyond and that Torm’s blessing falls upon him, that he is not trapped like I am, tied to a creature of the dark that I cannot control. If I could cry, I would, I would cry for all who I have failed. I would cry for Terry, who we never returned to like we promised, who tried so hard just to keep his bar open and running and was always there for us despite everything we brought his way. Apparently I wasn’t the first dead body that was brought to his inn and brought back to life. Saitama was there before me in the same situation. I was impressed, by the end not even bringing in my pet dragon had sent him running.


    Oh Tseng, I wonder what happened after death. I wanted to bring him back, I had the daimons ready for the ritual, all I needed was time, but death found me too quickly after. Did he reincarnated back at the proving grounds? The place that I had first rescued him from after defeating the adult version of him? Did his soul get released and he found peace? I am just glad that I didn’t ask Arcturus to take care of him and leave him at his house like I first planned. To have that thing… to leave Tseng with that. Under the incorrect guidance it would bring terrible destruction, though that seems inevitable now. What was released upon the earth, I don’t think it is even in the same plain of existence from what I grew up with. If I could have I would have sent him to Allen, another man who had gone through so much and helped us despite everything that he had to go through with us. Three months. We had disappeared for three months together after our ship was wrecked by pirates and our gold taken. We had found our way into the Feywilds, where we had to save it from a creature corrupting it, taking life from the tree that sustained that world. What was no more than three days in the Feywild plus travel time. Over all from when we had left the north it should have taken only a week, but there we were three months later returning to Tulip Bay, it took a day before we realized how long we were gone. When Allen came running into the tavern we were staying at, talking about how his wife was freaking out. I gave him a necklace to help him make it up to his wife. I was going to have the refugees sent up to him, but the poor man has been through so much, I don’t know if he would have been able to handle all that, all those people showing up at his door, sent by two people he barely knew, just the only man who had agreed to take us through the passage to the north, all to find another skull, the same skull that I happen to be trapped in now. We lost a dear friend on that trip too.


    So much loss on this journey to save the world, only to bring destruction to it. Everything we did, all the sacrifices made, they were all in vain, they were all to do the very thing that we were trying to prevent, and now I am left stranded, trying to hold on to who I used to be by looping through my mind who I used to be, where this all began. Trying to remember the Arcturus I looked up to, admired above anyone else in my temple. Trying to remember the man who saved my life. I think… I think his soul was still trapped there. I think that he still lived, even with that demon, the moments we had, the hugs, when he brought me back. I refuse to believe that was fake, I refuse to believe that was all just part of his plan to get me here. He didn’t need me here and he didn’t need to threaten those around me to keep me safe. Perhaps if I was needed for the sacrifice, but no, Saitama took that upon himself. All this, why would he have done all this, keep me around? Why would he have come whenever I called and helped all ways that he could if he wasn’t there somewhere. I missed my Arcturus, my mentor, my teacher. I missed the temple I spent most of my life, the warm touch of Torm, I just want to go back. I want to be taken back to those days, I want to see my mother smile as I set off into the temple doors where an old man in grey robes awaited me.
     
  2. Aelin Best Waifu

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    Chapter 1


    “I am so proud of you Liliana for making this step. I am proud that you want to study so you can help people. But remember no one is forcing you to go. If it is ever too hard you can always come home. I will be waiting for you with open arms.” Rosaline knelt in front of her young daughter, a six year old girl with big brown eyes who stared at her with a sort of unexplainable sadness to it. Her chestnut brown hair still falling in her face a bit despite being tied back in two neat pigtails.

    “It's okay momma, you don't have to lie. Last time dad was home I heard him and you talking after I was in bed. I heard him say that, at this rate next time I get sick and you bring me to them, they might not let me leave. He said you had to remember the promise you made, and you said you didn't want to force it on me. So you aren't, it is my choice. Besides you always told me what they do here helps make sure dad comes home safely all the time and I want to help with that.” My words so calm and sincere, can my mom see how scared I am taking this step? I meant every word I said but it still terrified me to give up the life I had completely to Torm to take up a life in his servitude instead. Are they going to send me to war too when I am older? I want to help with the war against the orcs, but I don't want to be fighting in the front lines with dad, I would never be strong like him, I wouldn't survive. What I could do though is learn how to serve in the temple and heal like the priests have healed me times before. It might not have ever been anything serious, but according to my mom, I get sick more often than most children should. When that happened she would take me to the temple of Torm, my fathers temple where they would help me get better. Moving there, serving there wouldn’t be a big change in my life I don’t think, but it still makes me nervous.


    “I… I just was so scared of losing you, I said whatever I had to in order to make sure that you were going to live through that fever, you were still so young and it seemed bad. When you healed up, and came home, when I saw your bright smile, I couldn’t give you up. I wouldn’t force you to be away from your family. It wasn’t my life to give. I had hoped that you would choose this for yourself, but if you didn’t I would fight tooth and nail for yo-” Rosaline was cut off as there was a force against her nearly knocking her backwards as two small arms wrapped around her neck.


    “Don’t cry momma. It will be okay. I am choosing to go myself. They will take good care of me. I know they will, they have before. Besides you will come and visit right?”

    “Of course sweetie, of course I will visit you. My little flower, you are so brave and I am so proud of you. If you ever need me just shout and I will come running up here as fast as I can. I will never be far.” Reaching up she moved a stray strand of hair from my face before hugging me once more and kissing the top of my head, lingering until I started to squirm. It wasn’t that I didn’t cherish the time I had with my mother, but as the old man in grey robes looked down at us from the top of the temple steps, I knew it was time to go.


    As my mother let go of me, I tried to hide my tears, only to turn and see that she herself was crying. Taking one step away, the despair I could see in her eyes, watching me leave, broke my heart more than it already was. Was this the right choice? Was this what I was meant to be doing with my life? Should I have not gone? Did I even have much of a choice? All these questions and more circled in my head as I tears fell from my eyes as well. A trail of tears marked my path to the steps of the temple and up to the entrance where I finally looked up to see the face of the man who was in charge of my care from this point forward. A kind older gentleman, High Priest Simiel.


    “Come my child. There is nothing to fear here.” The elderly man ushered me inside. I glance back at my mother one more time before disappearing through the doors. There is a deep sadness in her eyes as she weeps, and regret. All I can think is that this is my fault. I caused her this pain, it was my choice. If I had chosen not to go through with this, she would have found another way out for me, and I could live with her instead of here, but the choice is made and I fear, if I retract it now, Torm will not protect my father from the war that he faces nearly every day. If serving here is what it took to make sure my father always came home, then that is what I would do. I would do anything just to make sure I get to be in my father’s arms again, and to see him hold and laugh and kiss mom. Perhaps offering me to the church was a mistake, but it is a life that I have to live with now, and one I will embrace, if it means protecting my family.
     
  3. Aelin Best Waifu

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    Chapter 2


    The halls are familiar. I feel like I walked them a thousand times already. As we walked I instinctively went to turn down the left hall, towards a room that was practically dubbed my own. I tend to get sick a lot and because of that my mom always took me to visit. Many times I had to stay here over the course of a few nights until I got better. Since I was born I would always stay in the same room, despite there being plenty of rooms meant to take in the sick and wounded that were brought here. It was like a second home to me. As I turned I felt a gentle hand on my back, slowly pushing me another direction.

    “Not this time my child. You are no longer a guest of the temple of Torm, you are a servant of it. You will be given a more permanent room in the more residential wing. Follow me, and we will put your things away. You are to be baptized into the church after dinner tonight, be prepared. Training will start tomorrow.” High Priest Simiel informed me. It wasn’t that he was trying to rush me, but in his eyes the best way to get settled into the new life, was to start living it. Sitting around thinking about what was to come wouldn’t help me at all, it was better to see what I had agreed to and come to peace with it as soon as possible.


    Leading me up a set of stairs to a secondary living area that I had never known existed before now, Simiel brought me down a hallway towards a room at the very end. Walking, I was vigilant to what was around me. Several young girls and boys were in various rooms along the way, all of them cleaning the rooms, taking care of waste and replacing sheets. Simple chores that it seemed was part of their everyday life. Was this what it meant to serve in the temple of Torm? Were these the people that I was to be training with from here on out? The answer was likely yes, and I hadn’t expected much different. I had seen many of the young acolytes in my times staying at the temple, though I never spoke to them. Usually they made themselves scarce, and didn’t talk with those who were staying in the temple. It was always the older acolytes and the priests that dealt with the guests, only on occasion did they call the younger acolytes, usually to just fetch something. I do wonder though, will there be more to my days than basic chores? Looking up at Simiel I decided that I shouldn’t ask and just wait and see. It wasn’t like I would have to wait long, dinner was only an hour away after all.


    Arriving at my room, we put my stuff on the bed. There was not much that I took with me, after all, my mom would just send what I need later. She lived in the town after all and it was only a short distance. The Temple of Torm lay on the outskirts of a small town called Badger’s Sett. Despite it being a small town, we have a decent military presence, many of the men who live here are heading out to help against the fights against the Orcs. We are decently close to the border between the Orc territory and our territory, but we aren’t close enough for it to be a threat in our everyday life. Torm is the god of Duty and Loyalty, it is part of the reason he is so well worshiped among those who fight, including my father. I already know that until my birth my mother was much of a worshiper, she only started in order to make sure I was healthy and safe. I followed in my parents footsteps soon after. It isn’t that I have something wrong with me, but I do tend to get sick more than most kids. It is usually not anything major, just enough to scare my mother. Apparently I had an aunt, but she died before I was born. From what I know my aunt had died from something that should have been curable. The herbalists that claimed to know how to cure her, failed and instead she only grew more sick and ended with her death. Now my mom doesn’t trust them and when I started getting sick turned to my fathers religion, desperate for help. In the end they were able to help me, so ever since then she had trusted them more and she started to encourage me to worship Torm as well. In the end that is how I ended up here, starting my life here.


    Moving on to a tour of the temple. It seemed that there was a lot of area’s to the temple that I had not been aware of before now. I had thought, having been here so many times before that I had a decent grasp on my way around the temple, though it seems I was only shown what was available to the public. While I knew there was a kitchen, I hadn’t been shown it until now. The entire upper floor was new to me, with it’s classrooms and living quarters. There was also a library that I had known about before now but had not had the chance to visit until this tour. While the library contained information that was open for all to know, it was more of a precautionary thing that you had to go through steps to gain permission to use the library, and sometimes the priests would just bring out the book that you needed and there was no setting foot in there at all. I had not realized how vast the array of books and the trove of knowledge that this library, tucked in the back of the temple contained. Besides that there was also a small room behind the main temple area that serves as a place to get ready and prepare to serve during services. The room was small and contained mostly vestments, oils, incense and other small items used for services.


    As we walked around, High Priest Simiel still leading me around the temple, it was hard not to notice the curious glances of various acolytes, that peered up from their work, eyes on me. Some were young like me, but even the teenagers seemed at least slightly interested in the new child who was being brought around by the most important person of the temple. Whether Simiel didn’t notice them, or chose not to care it was unclear. All that I could tell was that he didn’t pay mind to them at all instead explaining each area and the use of it. Simiel tried to tell me about some of my chores, as well as the classes that I would be expected to attend, however my mind wandered. As we walked I looked at the paintings on the walls and the artifacts that were brought back to the temple and put on display. So many different things from all around the worlds. Things that I would never see in our small town of Badger’s Sett. Perhaps one day I would get to travel. As far as I was aware I was only tied to service in the temple for so long before it was encouraged to go out and help others in the world, that is why there was so few teachers here compared to students. If those who were raised in the light of Torm were not fighting the righteous battles on the front lines, they were travelling helping other people instead. It takes a special kind of person to give that all up to sit in a temple and teach and help those who make the journey here. It isn’t a life for many, but people such as Simiel have the heart for it and that is okay, it isn’t the heart I have though. I want to see the world and dream of one day having the chance to do so.


    The first meal arrived soon after. I was allowed to sit with the guests for this meal, but after today, I am to eat in the kitchen after all the guests are served. Now I can see the younger acolytes coming around serving our food and disappearing, a job that I would soon have as well. For now though I sat with the adults and enjoyed my food as they asked about why I was here and what I hoped to learn from this step. Some told me how brave I was, taking this step, but I don’t know if I would call it bravery. I am just doing what I have to. I am still terrified about this entire thing, still terrified about trying to make new friends, still terrified of the idea I might not like it here and it will be too late to change my mind. It isn’t that I thought that High Priest Simiel was cruel enough to force me to stay if I really didn’t want to, but I didn’t want to lose the favour of Torm that was granted to my family. If I changed my mind I don’t want to lose my father because of it. I fear that without me upholding the deal that my mother made to the temple, Torm will be angry and stop providing his protection to my father. If that happens and rumours are to be believed, he might not stand much of a chance on the front lines. The Orcs are vicious terrible creatures that live for violence, and while my father is strong, he always tells me his strength is thanks to Torm. That is why I have to do this. I would hardly call that brave.


    Still I keep quiet and I am polite. I don’t tell anyone about my worries and just go about eating my food, answering questions only in short answers, and rarely looking people in the eye. I always have found it hard to gauge what is okay with what crowds, so I came to find that keeping my eyes averted and only speaking what is necessary when spoken to, is the best way to handle things. I am sure I will be doing a lot more of that now, judging by the other young acolytes that I am noticing around. It is a role easy enough to slip into. It isn’t that I ever needed to do it at home, there were no social regulations that I needed to fit into except when my father had friends or commanding officers over, which wasn’t often. That being said my family while doing well compared to some, certainly are not considered high class citizens, so when those of higher class than us are around, I had been taught how to act as to not offend anyone. My parents were always gracious hosts, welcoming anyone and everyone that was willing to come over. On occasion those of a higher class would come, or the inn keeper would send them our way when his rooms were full and there was still travelers looking for rooms.


    I was almost relieved when dinner had finished up and the plates were cleared. Being done with my social obligations were nice, but that left something much more frightening to come. It was after dinner that my baptism into the church was. I am sent off with an older acolyte named Tilly to go get ready for it. The girl carried a pile or robes as she lead me back to my room and placed the robes on the bed.

    “Get changed. I will do your hair after you are in the proper attire.” Tilly stood in front of me waiting for me to get changed, but I couldn’t help but blush and stand their awkwardly. “What are you waiting for me to leave the room? Just hurry up. There is nothing that you have that I haven’t already seen. Just do it.” The girl seemed impatient with me. Still a little red in the face I strip and change into the robes provided. However as I got to the belt I struggled to get it tied tight enough and right. I tried twice, both times it came loose and fell the moment I tried to walk.

    “You are useless, let me do it.” The girl walked up and tied my belt before motioning to the chair at a small desk in my room. “Sit.” She ordered me.


    Obedient I sit on the chair, nervously holding my hands in my lap, trying to not fidget as she pulled my hair back and up, starting to braid it into a tight french braid.

    “Ow! That hurts!”

    “Well it wouldn’t hurt so much if you stopped moving. Keep your head still, leaning back only makes it harder.” Perhaps I wouldn’t lean my head back if she didn’t pull so hard. It would be a losing battle though if I tried to argue that with her. Soon enough a ribbon was in her hand and she started to tie off the bottom of my hair before standing me up and looking me over.

    “Well kid, you look the part now at least. Lets not keep father Simiel waiting. I am sure he will blame me if it takes too long.” With a hand on my back, she ushered me out of the room and down the stairs towards the main sanctuary area where High Priest Simiel was waiting patiently for her. I could see a couple acolytes waiting in the background and a couple more priests flanking Simiel.

    “Come here my child.” Simiel called out to me as Tilly stopped walking and just lingered at the side entrance as I continued forward, slowly, anxiously, towards the man who held a hand out to me, a warm smile on his face as he let me take my time on the approach.


    Standing at the bottom of the steps up to the altar, I just looked up at the High Priest. I wasn’t quite sure what I was to be doing now. Was I to approach? Would that be disrespectful? I was afraid of doing something wrong so I thought it best to not do anything at all.

    “No need to be afraid, come here. Stand right in front of me child.” Simiel beckoned me once more and I started ascending the three steps up until I was standing on the same platform as he was. The silence before he started to speak seemed to last minutes though it had only been seconds of me standing there. Nervousness lead me to never look Father Simiel in the eyes, instead looking everywhere but there. One of the young Acolytes stepped up with a vessel containing what I could only assume to be holy oil.

    “Repeat after me. I Liliana Fahey hereby choose to commit my life to the service and works of Torm.”

    “I Liliana Fahey here… here by choose to commit my… my life to the service… to the service and works of Torm.”

    “To surrender my mind, soul and body to his good deeds and follow the path that Torm has set out for me.”

    “To surrender my mind. My soul. And my body to his good deeds. I will follow the path that Torm has set out for me.”
    “Though trials and tribulations may come my way, I will lean turn to Torm first, before any others to meet my needs.”

    “Though Trials and tribulations may come my way. I will lean turn to Torm first before any others to meet my… um needs.”

    “My life is in your hands.”

    “My life is in your hands.” The oil on my forehead was warmer than expected, and Father Simiel’s thumb softer as he spread it.

    “I am proud to call you a child of Torm and an acolyte of this temple, a part of this family. Welcome daughter Liliana.” Reaching over to another acolyte, he picked up a necklace with a small pendent on it. The pendent depicted the back of a gauntlet, facing up, the sigil of Torm. That nervousness that I had been feeling melted away as Father Simiel wrapped me in his embrace and just held me there for a long moment before sending me to my room to bed. Training would be starting the next morning.
     
  4. Aelin Best Waifu

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    Chapter 3

    It has been a month now since I first took my vows. I have learned my chores well enough and m able to complete them alongside the other acolytes. I have not been able to make many friends her however. I have not really tried to make friends, but nor has anyone tried to make friends with me. Perhaps it is on me to try more, but I don’t know how to try. It seems that everyone here has already formed their own groups of friends and there is not room for another. There are people who are nicer than the others, ones that will talk to me as we share a chore we have to do, or make sure I was awake and wouldn’t be late for class… again. I am not very good at the early morning thing. I never had to wake up this early at home and still struggle getting up and ready in time.

    Just to add to my struggles of getting along with other students, and getting up in time to actually get to class on time, I have also fallen ill again. Apparently it is nothing too bad, a little more than a cold but nothing so bad that anyone worries I will not come back from it. They have forced me to stay in bed, where meals and homework are brought to me. Since being ill my mother has stopped by once. I miss her singing. She has the most lovely voice and would often stay by my side singing when I would have nightmares, or was sick and bored in bed. Now she wasn’t around nearly as much. I have heard that she started working in the town, that is why she hasn’t been around as much since I have been sick. It has been lonely here, though there are people around, most are too busy with their own work to spend time with keeping me company. Some of my teachers would stop by to check on how I was doing with my homework.

    Today however as I sat reading a book instead of doing my homework like I was supposed to be doing, Father Simiel came into my room, pulling up a chair beside me.

    “How are you feeling today my child?” He asked as he checked for my temperature.

    “I am doing okay, better than yesterday.” I could feel how scratchy my voice was from coughing. My chest burned as I breathed and I was still feeling exhausted, even after just waking up from a nap.

    “You know, I have heard that you have been having troubles fitting in with the other children. Why do you think that is?”

    I consider it for a moment, it is hard to really explain. “I don’t know I think they all have friends already and don’t need any more. I don’t want to push too much either. They will only dislike me more.” Whether or not that actually made sense, I do not know, but at least I did my best to explain my thinking.

    “No I don’t think that is the case. You know why I think that you are having so much trouble?” There was no judgment in his voice, but it seemed as though he already had his answer carefully thought out. He knew exactly what he was going to tell me. “You are special my child.” He placed a hand on my forehead. “Torm has certainly touched you. You have his bless, and though you might not see it yourself, it radiates from you like a light. You might feel lonely now, but you have a very special gift and you will go on to save many.”

    “What does that mean?” I tried to ask him but he moved his hand down to my chest and just held it there for a moment, a warmth filled my body as I started feeling a little bit better.

    “The blessing of Torm, you don’t have a warrier heart like some, but you have a heart for people, so he will give you the ability to help them, just like I have. You just can’t let yourself become a crutch for people. If I just took away your illness every time you got sick, your immune system would never learn to fight for itself. I can make it more comfortable for you, take away some of the symptoms, but I have to let your body grow on it’s own. It will take a while to learn, how to use these gifts and when to use them, but I assure you that you will learn, and when you do, this loneliness you feel now will mean nothing, it won’t matter. I promise you.”

    I did not quite understand all that he meant by his words, but it made me feel a little better even still. At the very least it was something that I could hold onto, something to help get through these times. I had not realized that not everyone received the gifts that I had seen Paladins and Clerics of Torm use, and it was exciting to know I was fortunate enough to be blessed with them. If only that blessing didn’t come with such loneliness. It isn’t that I wasn’t used to not having friends around. I never was all that social growing up, but my mother was always around for me, and until last year, so was my grandmother. Father wasn’t home often, but when he was he would spend as much time with me as he could. I had never really felt true loneliness until I came here, and now it seemed like it was a price I had to pay for being deemed special. It is almost not worth it, but I don’t dare spit on a very special gift from Torm, so I have no choice but to embrace it.
     
  5. Aelin Best Waifu

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    Chapter 4

    Two years later and the cycles still remain. I am still sick more often than the other kids. I still haven’t made many friend, but I have started to get extra attention with my training. With that extra attention however comes less of a reason for other people to even try and like her. Father Simiel always tells me that they are jealous, but that doesn’t help the pain most days. Like anyone would be I am terribly lonely and hate it. The teachers and Father Simiel do their best to keep me company, or at least keep me busy enough to not notice, but I still am missing that connection, a close connection with another human. I can’t count the amount of times I have cried in my mother's arms in the last couple years since being here. Every time she comes to visit I feel the weight of missing her press on my chest and I want to ask her to take me home, but when I open my mouth to ask, I can’t convince myself to betray my calling like that, so I remain for another month forcing myself through the pain and the loneliness, holding on to the hope that once my training was over I would be able to help more people, and maybe then would I have friends. If not that at least I could travel, see the world, and at least have some excitement in my life.


    Once again I am sick and this time it has been lingering for a while. Two weeks, and while I am starting to feel better now, there are still some of my chores I am not allowed to do, and if I am not doing my chores because I am sick, then I am supposed to be in bed. It is lonely sitting in my room while everyone is eating dinner. Rumour is that we have a new guest staying with us, a paladin from another temple of Torm from overseas. It is hard to imagine anyone wanting to come here, I am sure wherever he is from must be so much better than here, especially a town such as Badger’s Sett. Maybe if he was on his way to Valorbloom. I have never been there myself but it is supposed to be the capital of our nation. Rumours say that if there is anything you need to find, it is all there and in abundance, as well as springs of knowledge. I heard that the library there is at least four times the size of the one we have in the temple, and the one we have in the temple is the biggest in this town. Even though, with the constant war against the orcs, this is hardly a vacation destination. I don’t understand, and that is why I want to meet him. I begged to be able to serve today. I wanted to at least see him, but Father Simiel was worried that I would make our guests sick and insisted that I stayed in my room. Just a few more days he assured me before I can get back to my regular routines. But in a few more days he could be gone for all I know, I don’t want to wait that long.


    That night after the chores were done and everyone was winding down for the night. The other acolytes were dismissed from their duties to have free time before bed, and everyone just did their own thing. It was this time I chose to sneak out of my room. While the halls and common areas were still busy at this time, making sneaking around difficult, but at least I would have a chance to meet him while he was still up and about. I want to meet this strange man, ask him what brought him here, perhaps hear stories about other continents, but I am not so desperate to wake him up or sneak to his room. I have some respect… even if I am breaking the rules.


    Bundling myself in an extra sweater I step out of my room. It is usually warm in the temple, but I am still cold regardless of the temperature inside. A side effect from being sick, it is enough to tell me that I am not as better as I believe I should be. Still I try and push past that as I peer out into the empty hallway beyond my room. Most of the other kids wouldn’t be returning for another hour or so. Since curfew and the time we must be in bed are two different times, we try to enjoy the free time as much as possible, either playing games in the common areas, or going for walks, it is rare there is anyone in this hall at this time. It will only get harder from here. Plus I don’t exactly know where I will find this so called guest who is staying here. Perhaps he has already retired to his room, or perhaps he is having a conversation with Father Simiel, or maybe he is in the library reading. The last one would be my prefered outcome, it would be the easiest place to sneak into and talk to him. If he is with other people it would be hard, but at least I could see the man who is staying here, and then just hope that tomorrow I am allowed out of my room and that he would still be here.


    Surprisingly enough, as I walked through the halls I heard the sound of metal on metal. Not quite sure who it was or what was going on, and since I wasn’t supposed to be out of my room, I hid, though not well. In an open hallway there aren’t many places to hide, pushing myself against the wall behind the door to the next hall was the best I got, and even then if he went to open the door more then I would be squished behind the door. Holding my breath I tried to wait until the person passed. It took longer than anticipated, for anyone to come by. Shifting uncomfortably in my hiding place I caught the first glimpse of the person that was approaching. The first thing that I noticed was his shining armour that he was wearing. Compared to me he seemed massive and I was a bit scared. However as I lift my gaze I notice his face, while strong it was also kind. He had long golden colour hair and he was every bit the knight that I imagined a knight should look.


    A few more steps then he stops, looking towards the door. I hold my breath again but it didn’t help as he walked over to the door and instead of pushing it open to get passed, he slipped through the opening and closed the door behind him, looking down at me with almost a curious look.

    “It isn’t often I walk through halls of a temple and find a child in her pajamas hiding behind a door. Just what are you doing here?” The man knelt down to look me in the eye. His words held almost an amusement to them. For a man who travel so far he wasn’t as old as I thought he would be when he knelt down to look at me. He had to be at least a few years younger than my father, definitely younger than any of my teachers here. My voice was dry as I looked at him wanting to say something but was too nervous to actually say anything.

    “I- I…” I am not good at lying and I am nervous. Every time I try and lie I am called out right away. “I heard there was a guest from another land here. I just wanted to see who it was and I kind of wanted to see if maybe…. Well you see… um I haven’t been outside Badger’s Sett and I want to and I want to know what it is like beyond our lands. You know where there isn’t a constant war with the orcs. But I have been a little sick and wasn’t allowed out of my room and it is boring in my room so I just thought I could at least see who it was so maybe when I was better I could ask.” There was a hearty laugh as the man put a hand on her head. He smiled at me, ruffling at my hair as I tried to bat his hands away.

    “You are honest, I like that. So what exactly do you want to know, what do you want to ask me?” He offered almost looking ready to sit down on the ground with me. I was so taken aback by how kind and ready he was to talk to me that I didn’t hear anyone else coming down the hall until Father Simiel was standing right beside us.

    “Aren’t you supposed to be resting in your room not disturbing our guests?” He asked me in a stern voice, causing me to duck my head and nod silently, averting my gaze from the two men.

    “It is okay, she is not bothering me at all. I am happy to answer her questions.” The man tried to assure him, but Father Simiel just shook his head and she walked up and put a hand to my forehead.

    “You are not going to get better if you don’t relax and rest more. I know you are getting impatient, but maybe this is just another form of training. Patience is a key if you are ever going to master Torm’s gifts and grow into a great Cleric one day.” He always spoke to me softly, even when he was upset with me. Nodding I turned away from the man I wanted to learn more about to retreat to my room, ashamed of myself for breaking the rules.

    “Hey, what’s your name?” The blonde haired paladin called out to me as I started to walk away.

    “Liliana. But most people just call my Lily.” It seemed strange this random guest actually caring who I was.

    “Well Lily, I am Arcturus. I will be around for a little while, so I will probably see you again soon.” The smile on his face as I looked up, the warm smile, it made me feel slightly less alone. I found myself smiling back at him. The smile might have been small but it was genuine, the first genuine smile from me in a long time.
     
  6. Aelin Best Waifu

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2011
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    British Columbia, Canada
    1,323
    Chapter 5

    It was around mid afternoon the following day. I had been left alone with a stack of homework that I was working on, mostly languages today. It was apparently important for me to be fluent in many languages if I wanted to help people. When they are in pain or hurt, their first reaction might not be to speak common if that isn’t what they speak around home. If I could communicate with them in any language that they were likely to speak, it would further the use I could be to them. I am also learning a language that few know, Celestial. This one I started learning so I could read out incantations for various blessings of Torm. Not all of the abilities he granted could be done with a wave of a hand. Sometimes I would have to recite words, often in celestial in order for them to work. Besides that it was seen to get more favour from Torm if you speak to him in his own language even if it was not required. I know more in Celestial than I do in Dwarven, or Elven right now, but that is only due to the fact that the spell I am learning to cast now, relies on it.

    Struggling through reading a children's book in dwarven, I can hear the squeak of my door opening. I assumed that it was just a teacher coming to make sure I was behaving myself, but as I glance up from the book I found the blond haired man from the night before standing in my doorway, this time not in his armour. He smiled as he looked over at the book I was reading and then back to me.

    “I don’t suppose that you want a break do you?” The book was closed and on my bedside table in an instant as I heard him laugh. He stepped further into my room pulling up the chair from my desk to beside my bed. “You know we never did finish our conversation from yesterday. I am not taking you away from resting now am I?” I shook my head, unsure why he was bothering with me though. I was just a no one acolyte with no friends who wanted to know about the world beyond where I know. Why bother with me? Of course I couldn’t ask that, it would be rude, but it seemed like the question was written on my face by the answer that Arcturus had.


    “Why am I taking my time talking to you? Well for one, you think for yourself. Some might say you were breaking the rules yesterday, but I don’t think a little curiosity hurt anyone, getting out every once and a while and talking to new people doesn’t hurt, it is how you learn. Plus I sensed something special about you, Father Simiel confirmed it when he was sending you off to bed last night. And finally, just one look into your eyes and it is clear to see how lonely you are. I can’t ignore that can I? It wouldn’t be right. So what are you reading?” Was I really that easy to read? From one look at my face he was able to dispel some of the questions I have and help bring comfort to the situation. It almost seemed too easy and he seemed too nice, but there really was no reason for me not to trust him.


    “Um, it is called into the diamond mine.” I translate the name to english not knowing if he would know dwarven. And if he did know dwarven then I would rather not embarrass myself by messing up the pronunciation of the words.

    “Ah so they have you reading children books in other languages. Boring way to learn for sure, but it really does help, trust me on that.” He chuckles lightly as he picks up the book and starts reading it out to me in dwarven. I can only understand bits and pieces here and there, not good enough at my dwarven yet to process everything being said as it was said, but he made it wound so easy to speak the language that I was fumbling over every other word.


    When he finished he put down the book and looked at me. “Now I expect you to be able to read that to me sometime soon.” Where this came from I did not know, but without even thinking about it I made the deal, nodding my head, my mouth a little agape.

    “So Torm’s gifts. I suppose that means Torm has smiled on you and you have been granted access to some of his powers? What can you do?” Again an attempt at starting a conversation, but I am so taken aback that he is even trying that it is hard to talk. Why would this man want anything to do with me?

    “Oh… um… well I don’t know much yet, I am just learning one incantation right now and it is a skill I need to know but hopefully won’t ever need use for. I know I am doing it right though because I can feel warmth in my hands.” I tried to inform him before closing my eyes, letting the words flow out of me. Unlike Dwarven, when it comes to celestial incantations, it seemed that once I started speaking them they just sort of came to me as I could feel the blessings of Torm flow through my veins. “Ut fleem sal pe cel co!” The ancient celestial language flowed off my tongue as a faint power flowed from my fingertips.


    Clapping, he was clapping and smiling like he could feel it too, the power I used even though it didn’t have much effect. “Very good. I too hope you don’t have to use that, but it could be the difference in saving someone's life or not. But how would you like to learn something that shows a little more results that you can see. Unfortunately I have not been blessed by Torm in the same means that you have, I have my own giftings, but I know something you might have the skills to do. You would just have to give me time to research it more. So I will make you a deal. When you can read that entire book to me without stumbling over words, then I will try and teach you this new skill.”

    “You promise?” I asked eager to learn more.

    “I promise.” A smile spread across my face as I picked up the Dwarven book and studied it again.

    “There is that smile. I was wondering when I would get to see it. It is never any fun when everyone is serious all the time. That seems to be all I get when I visit other temples. Everyone putting on serious faces and no one smiling, and let me tell you it is easier to get you kids smiling than those old stiff priests. You should have seen the people at the temple in Maple Bay. Not even the youngest would talk to me openly. They were all trying to be so professional. You never get anywhere like that.” In that moment the man seemed… young. I suppose it sort of cleared up why he was spending time with me, perhaps I seemed the easiest to get talking because I was lonely? I enjoyed the company though, I wanted to keep him here at my bed a little longer, so I couldn’t help myself but continue talking.

    “What is Maple Bay like? Was that the first place in Lordric that you saw? Where are you from originally?” So many questions, but similar to what Father Simiel had done to me last night he put a hand to my forehead, checking my temperature and frowned slightly.

    “I will tell you all about it later. You should rest. I have no real plans on where I was going to go once, here, besides possibly make a name for myself, so I might stick around a while. That means there will be plenty of time to talk about such things, when you are feeling a bit better and I am not keeping you from your rest.”
     
  7. Aelin Best Waifu

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2011
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    British Columbia, Canada
    1,323
    Totally late here, but here is the next chapter

    Chapter 6

    The next time that I really had any time with Arcturus was several days later when I was finally well enough to get back to my chores and regular studying. After a single day I had given up hoping he would come back and visit again, assuming that the had continued on to his own life and whatever he had come here to accomplish. It was nice for the day, to feel like someone wanted me around and cared, a person who wasn’t obligated to look after me and teach me. It was nice pretending I had a friend and the promise he made me gave me something to look forward to, I had tried really hard to learn to read the book and had improved greatly in just the single night. However when he didn’t return when I thought he should, my mind instantly turned to the other side of things, believing that he wouldn’t come back around and I was just deluding myself.


    Standing in the kitchen, I was cleaning up after dinner, doing the dishes and stacking them on the side to clean and put away later. Since I had been away from chores for so long, I ended up cleaning the kitchen myself, giving some of the other students a break who had been pulling double shift while I was out sick. Suddenly there was someone with a towel in hand, starting to dry the dishes that I was watching. Glancing over Arcturus had taken up a spot at the sink next to me, drying the dishes that I was watching. Shocked I didn’t even know what to say to him.

    “Um… you know you don’t have to do that. Guests are not required to help around the temple.” I tried to inform him though I was sure he already knew such things. It was common practice most places from my understanding that guests were not expected to help with the chores. It wasn’t that I had been many places to know, and perhaps in his lands it was different, but as far as I could tell, it wasn’t.

    “I know I don’t, but I did say I would come visit again and since you are busy, I figured this was the easiest time. Though I suppose it isn’t the most ideal time for you to read me that book. You did make me a deal though.” Arcturus reminded me and I couldn’t help but giggle a little bit. It was strange really. The man spoke to me, like I am a normal person, not just a lowly acolyte. Now I am more than a little glad that I practiced reading that book for him. I wanted to learn the spell that he promised to teach me. I hope that he actually remembers to teach me it, he remembered that I had to read the book, so I am sure he would remember the other part of the deal.

    “Well… After I am done in here I have some free time before bed. I could read to you then.” I suggested a little nervously but he was the one that brought it up, so it seemed fair. If he had not mentioned anything I wouldn’t have said it. So really I should be in the right with what I said and shouldn’t worry about it, but I sort of do. I guess I just don’t know how to talk to people outside those I have to. I am still learning, and I will learn as I go.


    “That sounds like a great idea Liliana. I would love to hear what you have been working on.” His tone was warm and encouraging, enough so that it made me smile as I nodded to him. An hour later we found our way back to my room where I found my book. My dwarven was still a little broken, but it improved greatly since the last time that I tried. I had thought I was reading it perfectly in my head, but speaking it out loud, and more than that, to someone made me stumble a bit. Even still it seemed that my reading skills were sufficient enough that Arcturus still agreed to teach me the spell that he promised.


    Showing me a small incantation, the writing was celestial, but under it, what I could only assume was the instructions on how to cast it, were written in dwarven runes. Looking up from the notes to him, Arcturus gave me a bit of a wry smile.

    “I thought this might have been a better reason to learn dwarven than to just read kids books.” He told me as he shifted to see the paper better. “First can you read the celestial?” Studying it, it was a word that I did recognize.

    “Hwul al.” The words slipped off my tongue with ease. The language that would be difficult for some, coming seemingly naturally to me.

    “Very good. Now what I wrote below here, it tells you what motions you must do with your hand. As soon as you can read them out to me, I will show you what it means by that.”


    It took the better part of an hour before I managed to fully translate properly. After about twenty minutes I began writing notes as I figured it out. Finally though I managed to get the entire thing in common so that Arcturus could show me exactly how to perform the spell. As it turned out, it was not too difficult to cast. The explanation that I translated was written in such a way that it sounded more complicated than it really was. A couple signs with my figures, then the incantation, then whatever I touched after that came alight. My holy symbol was glowing after the second try, and I smiled at him.

    “Oh thank you! This is amazing! Thank you so much Mr. Arcturus!” I couldn’t help but be grateful, it felt like the most useful thing I had learned in a long time. This was a spell in which I could actually see results and know, that I was indeed special, just like everyone had told me I was. It was hard to believe such tails at times when you didn’t see any evidence of them. This however made me happy.

    “You are welcome, now I think it is time you get some sleep. Perhaps we will have another lesson another day.” Little did I know another day wouldn’t come for another couple months. As the next morning when I woke up, he had left on an adventure of his own.