Adrian Posted December 31, 2010 Report Share Posted December 31, 2010 Minor introduction:This will be the first chapter of a fanfic I've been nitting together, hopefully posting this will push me to finish it! It may be a bit slow, but I hope it isn't too bad.A thing the keen eye will note is that the year of this story is a few years prior to that of the actual game. This is partly because I started the story off at a different angle, and partly because I cannot fully well guess what changes that we will meet in the year. (Note that I started the first thoughts for this before the first DLC)Anywho, suggestions comments and such are welcome. If you got a wonderful character or want to add a chapter then please do so. It could be fun if we could patch together a story Edit: I'd just mention that the story will not focus solely on this chapter's main character, but change with chapters (and in times even within the chapters)Aaanywho! (ctrl c, ctrl v time)Chapter 1: A great way to start a year.Char could not help smile as he walked aboard The Drunken Bastard, the very same airship that had let him stranded a year ago because he did not have money for a ticket. This year he had money, and despite having spent his summer in what some would call luxury he was happy to be returning to school after the long vacation.Even the noise of passengers banter, air-sailors shouting and labor did not deter his optimism, actually it was quite the contrary. He looked down at the ticket committing the note to memory. He would be staying in cabin 16. He hefted the basket in his bag once more – just to keep Dancer, the Familiar ferret, on his toes – and set off through the tong of people on the main deck.He found room 16 down a set of stairs from the main deck. The narrow passageways connecting the cabins was almost empty there were only a pair of kids running back and forth and a young woman supervising them. Char turned to his room and managed to open the door while balancing the basket. He took a moment to take it all in, despite the cabins' small size. There was a bit of everything, a few seats, a hammock, a glow-globe, a net suspended from the roof for luggage. That was all neat and did register, but what was particular was the adorned work on the furniture. Surely great loved had gone into it's creation. He put down Dancer's basket and with his hand felt the smooth curves of the carved bench.“Looks like we are alone, for now at least” he said, giving Dancer a fond pat.Having tugged the luggage away and spend some time admiring the finely carved furniture Char felt a need to get out. It was simply getting too boring to just sit and do nothing, and homework not included he had nothing to read with him.With Dancer on his shoulder the two walked down the hallway, casting quick glances into the other compartments to see if they knew anyone. The Academagia was still far away, and therefore the ship was still half empty. Mineta was of cause the last stop on this trip. Like many other airships The Drunken Bastard made its money flying from Mineta to a long line of smaller islands and back, collecting goods and people.This time was special though, as not only did many schools start in this period but many shops in cities such as Mineta found that it is profitable to hold a sale – which usually made for ever more passengers. The rooms which would normally only house a single pair was now shared by more than 6 people. Char's journey and home lay in Mezzins however, an island partly isolated due to it's habit of orbiting nearby islands. This year Mezzins was the furthest stop on The Drunken Bastards line, in only a few minutes the ship would set off, bound, in time, for the city of Mineta.The pair walked for half an hour back and forth, Char politely greeting any students he recognized with a single exception...“You!” a voice called from behind, so cold that there might have been ice crystals forming in the hallway. Char turned and found Magnus Si'ell the boy who had made the trip to the Academagia a year ago a living hell.“You are continuing school?” Char greeted with a smile, returning the hostility. “did you actually stop jerking off and actually study at the end?”“Pfft, at least I don't have every teacher looking over my shoulder – I am thinking we are not all that lucky.” Magnus grinned though his eyes remained as focused as ever.“I don't see what that has to do with the miracle that must have occurred when you went into the examination, but it is true, the teachers has taken a kind interest in my studies.”“Kind interest indeed. Well, I won't keep you, much better I am far away when you do whatever it is you do.”Char barely managed to not roll his eyes to the ceiling. “What happened last year happened because you couldn't keep your mouth shut!”Char just barely noticed that Magnus' eyes shifted slightly, looking at something behind...All it had taken was a split second but Magnus' fist came crashing into the side of Char's head. Char was out of balance, falling. The next second he was already laying on the floor, having bounced off the nearby wall in the process.As he lay stunned on the floor the only sound he heard was that of running feet. Char moved to stand, but the world seemed to spin.“Are you alright?” a hand was held within easy sight. Casting a quick glance up at the giver Char took it and let himself be helped up.“Thank you” he said, though standing actually felt worse than lying on the floor, though the dizziness was subsiding. It was however making way for the pain.“Are you sure you are alright? I've never seen anyone behaving like that here! If I see him I'll be sure to let the crew know, they don't kid around when it comes to that kind of behavior!”“I am fine... it is fine, don't worry yourself.” Char realized that the old man was still supporting him.His face was wrinkled though it had a charm to it that few men are gifted with. It felt almost calming.“I should head off to my cabin and rest, it is a long trip.” Char straitened a bit, letting the old man know that he needn't worry. He had shed a lot of habits during his first year from home, but the unfamiliarity of touch was not one of them. Even the steadying hand of an old man made him feel uncomfortable, not to mention the pain starting to spread like a wildfire in his head.“Dancer,” it only took a moment for the ferret to slink back from safety and up on his usual place by Char's left shoulder. “thank you again”“No problem kid, I'll mention the little rascal to the crew.” The old man did a shaky wave and headed into his own cabin. Part of Char had wanted to say “Don't bother” or something similar, to be the bigger part, but the words wouldn't come. Just now he would not mind if they put the boy off at the next town.xXxIt was a dreamscape with no real features. There was snow on the even ground, snow falling from the gray though cloudless sky. Char looked down, his naked feet buried in a fist deep snow. It didn't feel cold.“Hello?” the voice seemed small and alien, even to himself, and the snow drowned the sound. He took a deep breath, trying to steel himself. A searing pain shot through his head just as he was about to call out to the darkened sky, the world itself seemed to shatter as the pain grew ever more present. Almost like popping a balloon the pain seemed to subside, just as the strange vision began to change. An angle seemed to distort the view of falling snow, like a second picture was covering part of world. The pain fainted to a dull throb.Curious, beyond the strange sight before him the snowing world was still unchanged. It was like a new layer had been added unto the reality. This new layer though. Char squinted his eyes removing a few stands of hair that ruined the sight. The second layer seemed to be a foggy landscape, strange illuminated clouds seemed to drift over the land.Char shook his head. This isn't real, can't be real. As he did the layer seemed to threaten to overwhelm him. He forced himself to look strait and the motion stopped. Slowly he turned his vision another direction. The new layer seemed to jump and dance as he did.Nothing in his studies at the Academagia even hinted at several layers of reality.Reality. It was like a stand of silver thread in the landscape, which was just now being revealed.Reality.Char blinked a few times, the somewhat familiar features of the cabin started to reveal itself. The thoughts of the snow did not quite leave though, even as the warmth and light of the cabin returned.Sitting opposite was a brown haired boy not much older than himself.“Selo?” he asked.“Surprised?” the youth grinned. “We saw your name on the list when we went to buy tickets and figured we might as well join you!”“We?” Char cast a dumb look at the rabbit sitting next to Selo.“No, I ment Aria, she is just getting some food.”Char got out of the hammock, clutching his head. The dream in addition to the knock from the day before had conjured up a bit of a headache.“Had a run-in with the door?”“Had a run-in with Magnus yesterday, though he is about as bright as a door.”“If you keep that behavior op” Selo said with an air of know-it-all “you will just be alienating all your future connections.” Char had heard the exact line from one of the teachers in school though he couldn't place it.“I wish I could return the favor and connect my fist to his face...” Char grumbled, taking a seat opposite Selo by the window. “Where are we anyway?” he asked, casting a look outside. They must have landed and taken off again while he had slept.“Between Fals Hoard and Mineta, we only just left.”Fals Hoard... Char remembered that place, it was where he was left stranded a year ago. But that meant that he had slept most of the trip!“Didn't they want to see a ticket from me at Dalesville? Or the Fals for that matter” Char asked, not really sure how so much time could have past, he was usually a very light sleeper, a habit from spending time at the Academagia.“They did,” Selo smiled “Dancer searched your pockets while Aria and I showed ours.”Char rolled his eyes. His familiar had a fondness for going into people's pockets. “I am not sure I should applaud it or not...”“Oh come on, it is a neat trick! Besides this way it finally did some good yeah?”Aria entered with a tray full of hot buns and tea. “Ah Char, you are up, good. Did you sleep alright? ... what happened to your face?!”“Magnus happened, I wasn't the only one feeling nostalgic it would seem.”Aria looked a bit puzzled, Selo was just curious, he had heard a bit of an incident between the two but no details.“What happened?”“We met in Mezzins Port a year ago. My parrents hadn't thought to give me any money so I was a bit short. I tried borrowing a bit off Magnus but... well he didn't lend me any.”Char took the warm tea, clutching between his hands for the warmth.“That was it?” Aria asked skeptical handing a small piece of her bun to her Familiar, a white mouse.Char shook his head. “Far from it, I snuck on board, hiding with the cargo – Magnus must have seen because he started to tell about 'the kid in the cargo who had a rare disease' and gods know what. Apparently he managed to offend someone high-class, which meant he was getting dropped off. To save himself he told them about me, the result was that both of us got stranded in Fals Hoard, having to trek the rest of the trip.“A bit cold” offered Selo, happily taking his share of buns.“It only went downhill from there.” Char took a generous sip of the tea and snatched a bun before they were all gone. “we just started off on a very wrong foot really”xXx“Kill me now, please” Char let his head hit the desk with a dump. Yet another test had been announced, this time in Zoology. “I never thought that Zoology would be such a theoretical subject!” He slowly picked himself together and drew Nutrients and Diets for the Common Familiars, by Dr. Theraji III closer after having shoved it away in a fit of self pity.“Oh stop complaining,” Selo sighed, turning a page back and forth a few times in an astronomical book Char recognized. “I don't understand this at all! What does the Helios Minor have to do with fortune?”“Depends on the moon” commented Aria strained, staring at her own book so hard that she might have been trying to force the book to provide her with answers. Char smiled weakly and returned to Theraji with a sigh. The test was tomorrow and beside from a few grumpy notes Char had very little to show for it. Theraji might have been exceedingly brilliant but he couldn't write a single entertaining line even if it was to save his life.Char had not even reached the bottom of the second page before Selo announced his triumph. “I got it! Alright, either of you want their fortune told?”“It isn't fortune!” Corrected Aria not moving her eyes from her book, it seemed that it still hadn't provided her with the wisdom she sought.“Right right, fate then, what does the gods themselves decree?! - Right Char, when were you born?”It took only a second to realize that this was more interesting than the test. “Early Cheimare in 42”“You are from Mezzins yeah? Hmm...” Selo consulted the charts and tables. “What time of day? You don't know? Hmm...” Selo started to write some stuff down on paper, though his note taking continued and after after a long minute Char shrugged and returned to the book.When Selo finally got done Char jumped, he must have fallen asleep. Giving a yawn he slapped the book shut and focused on Selo. “So, you will experience a great trial, the result is unclear... at best. Also you will find your nights restless – due to Silaum's Comet's prominent spot in... the...” Selo checked his notes. “no wait, Invidius? Can that be right?” Selo checked his map again.“Don't worry about it. I'll head to bed I think, I can't stand this book.” Char started to tug the book into his bag.Selo snicked. “Not like you did a lot of reading anyway. Before you go could you sign here?”Char blinked. Sign? “What am I signing?”“part of my homework, I have to tell the fates for someone, could you try to keep a diary? My teacher wants to see how your week goes...”“Right” Char yawned, making a quick signature.“You should really try to get some sleep, you've been down the whole week.”“Between these tests and Dinnum's snoring that is hardly a surprise” Char replied in a tired voice.Char was happy to finally collapse on his bed, slightly less happy as he heard the sound of parchment crumble under his weight. Grudgingly he shifted his weight, picking up the note that had been hidden under his blanket. Can we meet tomorrow? Got some questions.Char gave the paper a tired glance and placed it on the nightstand. Quaan, the student that he was assigned to mentor, must have sent it. He had wondered when she would write.He frowned for a moment. Was that perfume? He sniffed his hands, a sickly rosary scent. Wonderful, just what he needed.Early the next morning, after a night of nightmarish snowfall, he sealed a note, handed it to Dancer who would sneak into Quaan's dorm and present it to her. They would meet in the Great Hall, by the main staircase in the afternoon after classes.The day passed, albeit slowly. Even the test in Zoology had been easier and thus not as nerve wrecking as he had feared. The whole day seemed to have passed in somewhat a daze, even the notes he had taken had been written down in mechanical-like fashion, never really paying attention to the subject but writing down sentences, words, stay information...“You look a bit off”Startled Char looked to the speaker, his mind racing to place the face. “Sorry Quaan, I haven't been sleeping much” It was the Great hall, he vaguely recalled that he had gone here and had dozed off on the steps. A sort of middle place between sleep and waking, it had only seemed to make him even more tired.“If it is a bad time...”Char held her off with a raised hand. “It is fine.” there was an awkward silence. “You had questions?”“Right, well, some of the others had visited Mineta proper with their tutors...”“You do realize that you are not technically allowed to leave the school premises in the first year, save for certain days or with a teacher's approval?”She did not meet his eyes. “I know what the teachers said.” she admitted solemnly.“I should also mention that at least sixteen students were caught the first week and was given detention the very first week.” he stressed the number, his tone scolding.“Yes” she lowered her head further, the cheeks burning. Like so many she had heard rumors of Char stealing the Star off the Durand statue. From there she had supposed that he would be the first to show off such locations.“Good then!” He finished in a hard tone. She sat unmoving for a long moment. Something inside gave way, and his heart softened. “Do you have proper shoes? I mean shoes for climbing and running?”She looked puzzled at first, but something in his tone must have given him away. “I believe so” She was looking up, quite expectant.“Get into your gym clothes and meet me at the groundskeeper's office. We won't leave today – tomorrow after classes, but I want to show you a few things.They split up, Char heading to his own room and changed quickly to his gym clothes. Taking a look at his journal he let out a sigh. He'd have to get a helping hand from Aria for the current theme in Calligraphy. He understood the value of ink mixtures, their various effects, properties, longevity and other things, but failed to find it interesting. Even in the slightest.He hid the journal under the mattress, he shrugged mentally. If someone really wanted to look for it while he was out it would likely be the first place. He valued a few other hiding places, like atop the shelves behind a few of the other books but it simply took forever to get out again.He absently thought about making a secret room in the floor but grabbed himself in the thought. He was being paranoid again. Quickly tossing a treat to Dancer he left the room and hurried down to the groundskeeper. The groundskeeper was a quite amazing elderly gentleman who seemed to know everything there was worth knowing about the school and indeed parts of Mineta – if you could catch him when he had time to talk. There were several helpers of cause, but there was always work to do for the man, even though he looked so old!Aside from the few usual runners the place was deserted, which was a shame, as he had hoped to introduce Quaan to the old man. Another time, he agreed with himself.When Quaan finally showed she looked quite uncomfortable in her clothing, like wearing someone else's underwear. “First time in gym clothes?” Char greeted merrily. His spirits had picked up some from being outside. The sky was clear and the sun was still high in the sky. Warm but with a kind breeze, almost perfect weather for a run.Quaan blushed a bit, feeling very self conscious. “Yeah, I wouldn't have gotten them at all if not the letter had insistent of a full wardrobe.”Char remembered back, he practically had to buy them all on his own. His parents were rich, but didn't seem to care particularly about him – or anything save for each other for that matter.“Now is a good time then. The weather is mild so I was thinking that we could take a run around the Academagia, I'll point out the important places – along with a few places that are worth knowing. Like second entrances.”She had agreed, although a bit hesitantly. He should of cause have realized that she was not as used to run as he and the whole trip took much longer than first expected. It was a good time though. Quaan, although constantly tired, didn't complain (much) and often asked further questions as Char spoke about some building or another. Char had a nagging feeling that it was simply to keep him talking longer so she could rest, but he was glad to show off in this instance.Somehow the tutee had gone from being just another in a long line of random people to being someone who had a bit of a say in his world. Which was a surprise to himself as he went over the day later for his journal. Slightly annoying too, as he caught sight of the rose-scented note that still lay on the nightstand. Without a second hesitation he took the note crumbled it into a ball and threw it at the fireplace. There was no fire yet but at least the smell would vanish with the flames.He made a few more notes in the journal, including which entrances he had mentioned. He had only mentioned two so he hadn't compromised all the ways in and out of the grounds that he knew of, which was satisfactory. Of cause none of them was what you could call 'safe' just more so than the main entrance where the guard would simply stop you and point you back to the dorms unless you were allowed to be out.Other than that it had been a pleasant diversion from the usual toil of homework and stain. But if a boy like Magnus could pass the exams then surely there was nothing to be worried about.He was not convinced, even in the slightest. Magnus might live with poor grades – if he did indeed – but Char, grudgingly admitted to himself that he liked being someone who knew-it-all. Which sadly meant that he had to carry a larger workload than some others. Aranaz students usually took their homework very seriously, so he would likely not even be noticed when he refrained from raising his hand in class the next day or two. At least he could hope!xXxChar was still trapped in the snowy landscape, no matter which direction he moved there was no change to the scenery. There was no change, at least in the snowy landscape. Char had noticed, just at the edge of sight something different, like impossible shapes, and a 'layer' after that held... something like a normal breathing world. When he moved in the snow these other layers certainly moved. He had explored parts of this third layer, it was hardly there but the snow remained the same and the second layer would drive him mad if he kept looking at it. He had found something like a playground, where he watched shadows of people running about, playing, enjoying themselves. He had once or twice tried to interact with them but no one saw him, and he went through walls, people...Usually there was nothing to hear, but this time he could faintly hear a noise not unlike metal scarping glass. The noise had made the small hairs stand on end. It was just at the edge of hearing though, sometimes vanishing only to return later, seemingly without a pattern.Char opened his eyes, blinking a few times. The dream already seeming more distant. He turned, shifting his weight and closed his eyes.In his minds eye he could still see some clouds floating through the world, they seemed to brighten and fade in various places as they passed. Contract, expand, the clouds seemed everywhere. Something about them reminded him of the strange effect Char encountered in the first year when he had mixed several enchantments the day he stole the Star from the Durand collage. During that day, and part of the next he had been able to see whenever magic was in use, as small lights, they shone through everything: walls, earth, everything.Char opened his eyes. The lights were there, bathed in the clouds. He wasn't asleep. He closed his eyes again, feeling exhausted but not really tired as such.There was a slight movement at the bottom of the bed, a quiet squeek was enough to identify the reason. It was Dancer.“Dancer?”The familiar moved closer, seeming unusually reluctant.Char opened his eyes, seeing the silhouette of the ferret. “What is the matter?” he continued, just as softly as not to wake the others.Dancer placed an something next to the pillow, the little creature feeling particularly guilty it would seem, needing help.With a vague feeling of dread Char reached out to it, in his mind he could see it as a light beaming brightly. It was heavily enchanted, and it hurt to look directly at it.“oh...” Char exclaimed, slightly surprised as he recognized the item by his pillow. “Dancer...” he was not as much angry as disappointed. Slightly resigned to the mischievous nature of his familiar. With a sigh he closed his eyes. He in his mind he could see Dancer move out of the room. The little thing seemed so sad.There was no helping it. They had to leave, and soon. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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