Hey guys! So, in case some of you didn't notice, I'm rewriting The Legend of a Fighter. Because I'm a terrible human being and I needed to add plot points.
This means the The Legend of a Charmer will not be updated for a while (although I'm making good progress with rewriting Fighter, so stay hopeful. I'll probably rewrite some aspects of Traitor too, but only to incorporate the changes, so it shouldn't take me too long.
Please check out the rewrite (just called "The Legend of a Fighter", but it's a different story from before so you'll have to find it through my profile or something) and as payment for my terribleness, here's the first chapter of The Legend of a Charmer (which was previously posted on its own, but I took it down because reasons)
It was the end of July. All the campers who only came to camp in the summer had just arrived, and those who stayed all year but would go home for the summer still had a week before they left. All fifty eight of the campers were now at camp, plus several ex-campers who had returned briefly to supervise.
Our numbers had dropped slightly since Christmas. Then, there had been around seventy in total. But, after the battle in May, many had chosen to leave camp behind and lead a normal life as best they could. Four of the missing number had died during the battle, and their absence was the cause of many chilled silences and dark expressions throughout the camp.
It was now incredibly common for individuals to walk silently from the common room, the dining hall and even the classrooms, without explanation or obvious cause. No one stopped them. We all knew that everyone was grieving the dead, everyone was remembering the lost and everyone was looking worriedly into the future. Of course, many of us were looking into the future. Many of the airs and psychics were having near daily episodes, and a few had had insomnia so bad that midnight meetings had been arranged in the common room, for those whose minds were too full of visions for sleep.
So, when I slipped out of the common room on Sunday evening, no one questioned it. Even Jake merely watched me as I passed through the doorway, knowing that I didn't want, or need, his company.
I sighed as the evening breeze brushed against my face. The sun was still up, despite the late hour, but my heart longed for sunset. I always felt calmer in the dark.
I fell into the shadows of the trees and felt my worry lessen slightly. I breathed in the deep, earthy smells of the forest that surrounded the camp. The forest was very vast, and I hadn't yet discovered the far side of it, but didn't care much to try. To wander so far from camp, from safety, was incredibly unwise.
A few birds were flitting between the trees, and I could see the swift currents of air they were riding on. The ability had arrived first as a sense, like it did in all those with air magic, and had before required conscious effort. Slowly, I had begun to see the drafts with my eyes as well, which was probably due to the blessing I'd received from a wolf spirit earlier that year.
I felt a pulse of irritation. Even though I was the Reflection of the strongest air mage, the Guardian of Air in a magical world, and I'd had a blessing from a spirit who'd helped create an entire world, I still ended up stuck in this stupid, useless, state.
Everyone else had been having visions and dreams of the future, while I had seen absolutely nothing for weeks! And what use were their visions anyway? All they did was ooh and ahh about some great danger that was supposed to be approaching. What use was that? I needed help, advice and guidance from the mystical world, but all I was getting was second hand warnings about something dangerous, which I already knew about.
I kicked a rock angrily. I immediately regretted it, and not just because my toes now hurt.
It wasn't their fault that they couldn't interpret the visions. All the campers with clairvoyance had agreed that visions were never clear. I knew myself that it was often difficult to put into words what you've seen or felt.
And it wasn't anyone's fault that I, who was probably the person at camp most likely to get an understandable vision, had seen nothing of the future, except a forecast for rain that hadn't yet come true.
I walked aimlessly for a while, trying to not think too much about what had been pressing on my mind for weeks. As trying to not think about something inevitably makes you think about it, I sighed in resignation and settled down on a fallen log to think.
The glade I had settled in was populated by a collection of purple flowers. I will not pretend to be a botanist and will admit that I had no idea what sort of flowers they actually were.
I had been puzzling over my predicament for some time. The issue was, the one person who I would have usually turned to for advice in this situation, was the basis of the predicament.
I knew that all the problems that had occurred at camp were all part of a grander scheme for one particular purpose. I didn't know the purpose of the purpose, or the person to whom the purpose belonged. But all of this had been so that a man, whose name and identity I did not know, could capture Jake.
This man had so far threatened both me and the camp specifically to lure Jake into a rampage of revenge which would lead him directly into a trap. Luckily, the camp had been saved and I had somehow not died, so Jake had, so far, remained where he was, out of harm's way. Or out of the mysterious man's way, anyway.
But when you know someone is trying to entice your best friend into a trap, what do you do? If I told him he might go out looking for the guy, even though the man's plot had failed. Was threatening me and the camp enough to get Jake to lose his senses? And what if I didn't tell him? I'd escaped the man's deadly plots twice already, but what if he tried again and I actually died? If I died no one would be able to warn Jake. Lisa knew as well, of course, but the fact that she was rather prone to getting mentally mugged and possessed by her evil alter ego meant that she couldn't always be relied upon in a crisis. Lira, as she'd named herself when she'd emerged a few months before, had already shown that she had no qualms about killing any of us, and had allied herself with the mysterious man before. I'm not sure about this name I've accidently given him. Mysterious man sounds a little cliché, right? Oh well, not much I can do about it…
My mind wandered onto Luke. Luke was the fourth member of cabin six, the cabin I'd joined the previous year. Luke was sensible and level headed, and it would surely help if all of Jake's cabin mates knew about the risk. There wasn't really any disadvantage of telling him. The only worry was that Luke was also close to Jake, and could be targeted the same way I had been.
So I'd tell Luke. But I still thought someone else should know. All of us, Luke, Lisa and I, were sitting under the large risk that Jake could simply mind control his way around us if he wanted, unless we managed to knock him unconscious first.
The problem was that mind control was something controlled and affected by strength of will. That's not to say I was weak willed, and Luke certainly wasn't, but mind control also works better against people you're close to. If you trust someone, it's a lot easier to get dragged under their control.
My first thought was Kara. She and Jake spent a lot of time bickering and Kara was so hot headed and determined that she was probably not easy to control.
But mind control was about trust, not friendliness, and I knew Kara would trust Jake with her life.
Suddenly, another smell started to creep in between that of the flowers. It was a bit of a mix of scents; a rich, grassy, smell, a sweet flowery scent that contrasted with those in the glade, and an earthy, muddy smell. Accompanying these more pleasant smells was that of sweat, and a sharp, almost citrusy, scent.
All of these scents added together so that I knew exactly who was approaching. He was still some distance away but my sense of smell was much more enhanced than most people's.
About two minutes later, when the smell started to become overpowering, a man entered the glade. He didn't look surprised to see me, so I knew he must have sensed me and sought me out.
The man was tall, with straw coloured hair and bright green eyes. His mouth was fixed in a vacant smile, and his hands were resting in his pockets. He was totally at ease, and might have looked like a carefree university student, if not for the green cape he wore, draped around his shoulders.
This strange attire wasn't because he was making a statement. It was simply the norm where he came from.
His name was Hiroki, and he was from another world. I mean that quite literally. There was another dimension which shared many similarities with this one, except that theirs was one of magic. Hiroki had travelled with several others from Majikku across the Gate, and had found themselves here. They'd found people here, in our world, who had magic too because they shared a soul with people who lived in Majikku. All the campers had a reflection somewhere in Majikku, who shared their soul and therefore their deepest attributes. My reflection was Hiroki's sister, Suzume, another who'd travelled across the Gate.
"May I sit down?" Hirkoi asked, with a small smile. I was sure he was asking purely for courtesy rather than actual permission.
I shrugged and he sat beside me on the fallen log. He rested his hands on the soft moss growing on the fallen tree, and closed his eyes, seeming to relish in the life he could feel around him.
Hiroki had been the Guardian of Earth in Majikku, which meant that he had almost complete control over plants, rocks and dirt. His power was a lot weaker in our world, but it was still formidable.
We sat in silence for a while, each of us observing the forest in our own way; I through sounds and smells, and he through the flow of energy around him. Apparently Hiroki sees in spirit rather than light, but I never really understand when he tries to explain it.
Eventually, Hiroki's voice broke through the rustling of leaves around us.
"You seem troubled."
I laughed slightly. Hiroki was telepathic. He knew very well that I was troubled.
"Well, there's a lot of trouble happening." I replied. Hiroki and I hadn't spoken much in the past. I'd had several conversations with Suzume, but Hiroki always seemed content to keep his distance. Until now.
"Anything I can help with?" He asked, looking down at me.
I hesitated. Should I tell him? Hiroki would definitely be able to prevent Jake from doing anything stupid but… Well, Hiroki would probably tell Suzume. And Suzume might well try to lead a quest to find the man threatening one of our campers, and then Jake would find out, and what if they couldn't stop him and what if Jake got caught or-?
My thoughts got interrupted when Hiroki spoke again. "You do know I know already, right?"
I looked at him, surprised. As a telepath myself, I should have noticed if he'd been reading my mind, so how had he known?
He seemed to read my expression and laughed.
"The forest passed on the message when Lisa told you a few weeks ago. I decided to wait until you brought it up but, well…" He looked at me hopelessly. "It seemed to be eating away at you a bit."
I sighed and rubbed my eyes blearily. He was right. It was probably a good thing I hadn't been having visions because I'd been having insomnia already, worrying so much.
"Want to talk about it?" He asked.
I sighed again and stared through the trees. The shadows were getting darker as the sun started to set.
"I just…I'm really worried, that's all. Someone's after him and I don't know why. What if they're trying to kill him or something? I just don't want him getting hurt."
Hiroki stared at me for a while. He was smiling almost reminiscently, as though being reminded of something he'd enjoyed a long time ago.
"I forget, sometimes, that you're Suzume's reflection. But occasionally they'll be times when you two are really indistinguishable."
Confused I frowned up at him. He laughed, and then explained.
"You worry in the same way. They targeted you last time, and you nearly died. They'll probably try and kill you this time too, but the only person you're worrying about if Jake. Suzume was the same." He looked into the middle distance as if looking into a memory. "Before the final battle of the Blazing war, she was fretting endlessly about Sou. She was heading right into the heart of the battle, but the only fear she had was for his safety. You two are the same. You put the people you care about first."
I thought about it. Perhaps it was strange that I wasn't worried more about my own safety. But the only reason I had for living was the people around me, so it only made sense to put their safety before my own. As for putting Jake ahead of everyone else, no one else was being hunted down by a mysterious mad man, so he kind of took priority. But even if the camp got threatened again, I'd probably put Jake's safety first. He was my best friend. If I lost everyone except him, I'd probably be able to recover eventually.
"He's the one I'd miss most." It came out as a whisper, and I don't know if I'd really meant to say it. Hiroki didn't seem surprised, but he smiled.
A few more minutes passed in silence. Finally, Hiroki asked the question that would sit in the back of my mind for quite some time.
"You love him, don't you?"
I felt a quick surge of panicky embarrassment and was about to vehemently deny it, but then paused for a moment to consider. Did I love Jake? I certainly wasn't in love with him. But I definitely cared about him a lot. We'd gone through a lot together and I certainly felt something towards him that was a lot stronger than simply affection.
I hesitated and then said. "Platonically."
Hiroki nodded, but his slightly sly smile remained. I rolled my eyes and looked away. I'd never even considered Jake as anything but a friend. Was there anything else between us? Could there possibly be? Did I even want that?
Suddenly questions that I'd never even thought of came rushing through my head, and I realised that I'd become hopelessly confused. Hiroki's single question had raised many of my own.
Eventually, Hiroki slid onto the floor and rested his head on the log instead. Soon after that, he feel asleep, his head lolling to one side, his smile finally gone, replaced by a serene expression of pure innocence that didn't suit him.
I crept away and retraced my steps towards camp, leaving him asleep behind me. When I finally reached cabin six, Lisa was already asleep. I could smell Jake, but luckily he was already asleep too so I didn't have to face him until the next day when I'd had the entire night to sort through my thoughts.
I just wanted to write Hiroki to be honest. He was one of the main characters in the thing I was writing before Legend and I miss writing him. He's a lot different as a person in Legend because he's older and more mature, but I still like him. I miss writing Suzume too, but she got a one to one conversation with Mabel in Fighter, so she'll have to wait a bit before she can get more screen time.
Anyway, tell me your thoughts on this beginning chapter of Charmer, and don't forgot to check out the rewrite of Fighter!
Sorry again for being a slow-updating butt who finally updates but its not even the next instalment. I wish anyone with assessments and tests this week luck (are there tests this time of year in America or somewhere?). Thanks for reading! SlashDrag0n