Lucia and Milus hadn't been alive long before they realized they were treated differently than most of the other children they knew. Most avoided their gazes as they walked the streets and scavenged for food to eat at night. They had known no family that they knew of. Though, they did know why they were orphaned. The priestess of the church that ran their orphanage never let them forget why. Their parents had been Mystics, or as the more common tongued slang threw around Magi. Wielders of powers stronger than anyone else could understand.
That was where a majority of the children of Magi ended up being put until they could be cleared of any mystic powers. Then, once they were older, they were put into the better orphanages for adoption or shipped off to the temple to work. Milus and Lucia never really liked the old bat of a priestess who ran the orphanage, so they ended up spending most days on the streets. Not that anyone cared-one less mouth to feed.
"Sis, I'm hungry." It was about the third time Milus had complained that hour and Lucia pouted her lips as she thought. She was the oldest of the two- even as a set of twins if was obvious from the way Milus always looked to her for answers for important things like food. They had been living on the streets for about a full moon cycle now and it had been three days since they last ate. Even Lucia was starting to feel the pains of hunger gnawing at her gut.
"OK, I'll try to get us something. Stay here OK." Here, happened to be in a muddy and dark alley beside a tavern. Sometimes they would throw some moldy and rotting food out and they would scrounge for the bits that were still suitable for humans. However, it was the middle of the day and the tavern had cleared out most of its unsuitable goods were thrown to the dogs four days ago. Meaning if she wanted food for her brother and herself, she would have to steal it.
She had tried to work, but no one wanted a little street girl working for them. Milus didn't have very much strength after living in such conditions for such a long time, leaving her to do most of the heavy lifting. She didn't mind, it kept him out of harm's way. Lucia had never had the health issues of her brother, perhaps she was just too stubborn or spiteful to the world that had dealt them the hand they had.
Not much of that mattered now, as she peeked her head out like a mouse out of a hidey-hole. Noting no one was paying attention to her movements, she scurried out into the streets and made her way to the main market. That would be the best place to find food, especially in the prosperous summer they were experiencing that year. Lucky for her, the market wasn't more than an hour's walk from where her brother and herself had found shelter.
Lucia always loved the market. The smell of the spices and meats always made her mouth water and the vibrant colors were always a welcome change from the browns and greys of the streets she wandered with Milus. There were fine, glittering jewels on display and warm pelts sold to prepare for the harsh winters the kingdom often experienced. Fine silks exported from the island kingdoms to the west and weapons for the rumored war approaching the kingdom.
She had to shake her head to snap out of her daze and wonder. She had one reason for being there, and only one thing her brother and she needed to survive in the summer was food. Pelts could wait until winter, and no one would believe she had bought any of the fine jewelry or silks with her dirt-caked skin and matted dark hair.
Lucia pushed her way through the adult shoppers and found a simple fruit stand. She could clearly see several of the fruits had holes from bugs that also made food of the harvested fruit, however, it was also the booth that seems the least stable for her plan. She was on her own, she didn't have her brother to come up with some kind of plan to be sneaky with a distraction to steal the fruit. They had tried that once when they had first set out on their own. Milus had gotten caught and nearly lost an arm. He was too clumsy.
This left Lucia with a less graceful and subtle method of just running headlong into the stand to knock all the fruit on the ground. There were screams from startled shoppers and the storekeeper yelled in outrage, but Lucia paid them no mind. Instead, she filled her arms and used her dress as a pouch to gather as much fruit as she could before running as fast as her tiny legs could carry her.
She had made it halfway back to her brother before she stopped running. Lucia checked her dress to see her hall. Just a few pieces of fruit had stayed in her dress as she ran. But it was enough to last them for a few days. She smiled to herself and continued the walk the rest of the way to where her brother was.
When she finally reached Milus, he was crouched down in a fetal position with his head buried in his hands, exactly as she had left him.
"Here," she said and handed him some of the fruit. His blue eyes peaked up at her and then to her outstretched hand with a leathery orange fruit in it. He was quick to snatch the fruit and bite into it, rine and all. She snickered before sitting down behind him, biting into her own fruit with just as much enthusiasm.
If they had been paying closer attention, then maybe none of the misfortune would have happened to them. However, that wasn't the case.
Lucia was eating the tart fruit on second, and the next she was screaming. Grasping at her hair that she was now being held by- she flailed and cried at the pain in her scalp, fruit falling to the ground forgotten.
"Filthy maggot," a voice growled behind her. "You think you can steal from me?"
Lucia could hear her brother crying on the ground. "Please," Milus begged as his weak little fists hit against the man's pudgy leg. "Please let my sister go."
"Quiet you filth," the man yelled at Milus- kicking him to the side like an animal in the way. "I will make her pay me back, with labor or selling her. A young body like the two of you sells well in the human market."
Lucia wasn't exactly sure what snapped in her. Her body was filled with a feeling that was white-hot. It reminded her of when the orphanage priestess had held a fire poker by her face to scare her into not doing something again. Suddenly, her body was dropped to the ground like a rag-doll and the man had stumbled back. She wasn't sure what happened. What she did know was she suddenly felt drained and her skin felt tingly.
A cough escaped her throat, ripping through it as if all the moisture in her body had disappeared. "What do you know?" Lucia felt her eyes, a tugging sensation behind them, move to the sound of the voice. The man held his hand, blood dripping from a slight cut on the palm. "The little bitch is a Magi. And an air specialist as well, those sell for a nice price to power facilities."
He moved toward her again, but this time she was too tired and weak to move. She couldn't even raise an arm to defend herself. She could only watch in horror as the man approached her body again. There was suddenly a small burst of fire that went in front of the man, he jumped back and the fireball missed.
Lucia's eyes moved again to the source to see her brother, now slumped over in unconsciousness. "Well, it must be a lucky day. Two Magi's, and one is a fire specialist. There will be a bidding war on that one."
Lucia could feel her eyes fighting to stay open. Every part of her body just felt so heavy. She could barely even make out the shadow of the man now.
"You two will make me rich." Was the last thing she heard before she lost consciousness.
Scarlett: *tosses this chapter out* lets see if this story idea sticks.