One of my first stories posted on this site was Albyn - it's also my most important story and it has a huge place in my heart.
The origins of Albyn is traced back to a roleplay club. I used to be a regular member of a website called Stardoll and on that site, I joined a roleplay club called 'Potter_Central'. It was a Harry Potter based roleplay club which I was an active member of. I then created my own roleplay club based off an idea I had while on holiday in India in 2010 which was called Guardian Academy.
This roleplay group grew and grew with three active members. These members had the characters Gemma Waterstone (my character), Yuki Bell (movellas user Alviss Brown) and Annie Herinhart (another friend of ours.)
In late 2011, the first chapter of Guardian Academy was posted on Wattpad. In late March 2012, the last chapter of Guardian Academy was posted by a very proud 13 year old me. At the start of 2014, it had over 5000+ reads.
A month after Guardian Academy was finished, the first chapter of a sequel called Guardian Academy: The Curse of Inabikari was posted, followed by 6 more chapters.
At the end of 2012, I decided to turn all the old roleplay posts to chapters and saved them to my laptop. 2013 was a very lazy year for me. Halfway through the year, I decided to start rewriting Guardian Academy and named it 'Albyn.' I rewrote the first two chapters and took down the rest of the story from WattPad.
In October 2013, I decided to start using my Movellas account, and posted the first two of chapters of Albyn before forgetting about the site again.
In December 2013, the on/off button on my laptop stopped working and it died. I lost the original Guardian Academy novel, which at the time was over 80 000 words long along with the original roleplay posts. I gave my laptop to a tech-y friend of my Dad's so that he could recover all the files on the laptop.
It's now January 2015. I still haven't got those files back but I've found some handwritten chapters of Guardian Academy. I thank myself for not taking down The Curse of Inabikari and all my other stories from WattPad.
All of my stories have been posted in an anthology called 'Forsaken: Abandoned Works.'
Guardian Academy has been posted as well but not the full, entire work - but you do not need to read the first book to make sense of this story.
This is The Curse of Inabikari - the original, unedited and unfinished novel.
I'm posting these all to show you how much I've grown as a writer - how much I've learned, how much I've changed these past 3 or 4 years.
And I thank you all. For reading this. For listening to me. For being a part of my writing career.
And the most important message - ALWAYS BACK UP YOUR STORY!
Yuki knocked on the door, waiting for a reply. She was sure that she wouldn’t be allowed in, no-one had been allowed to enter, and she didn’t know why she was hoping that she’d receive an answer. She didn’t even know why she was here. But Yuki had to talk to someone.
As she had assumed, there was no answer. She paused before shouting into the keyhole. “Ne-chan!” It was her new nickname for Gemma. She sighed and then scraped her nails on the door, making a rather crude noise that was painful to the ears. She listened carefully, trying to guess what Gemma was doing. She heard a drawer open and then close. Then it was silent.
Yuki thought for a moment, deciding how to get Gemma to talk to her. The best option was to frustrate Gemma, for she knew about Gemma’s temper and how to manipulate it. “Ne-chan.” She said the words softly but they were still audible. She drummed on the door with her fingers. “Ne-chan.” This time the name was said in a distorted tone. Yuki drummed her fingers again on the door. And so, she continued to call Gemma, changing the tone of her voice which was followed by drumming a pattern. Surely it would annoy Gemma.
It did annoy Gemma. In a few moments, Gemma opened the door for the first time since her decision to lock herself in her dorm room. She was rather pale, her face almost pure white against the dark blue hair that had been braided rather messily. She seemed to look taller. She had definitely lost weight and Yuki wondered whether Gemma had been eating. As far as Yuki knew, Gemma hadn’t stepped out of her dorm, but surely Gemma had to eat. “What do you want, Yuki? And why are you calling me Ne-chan?”
Yuki shrugged. “I was bored. And I like Ne-Chan.” Yuki paused, thinking over what to say in her head. She didn’t want Gemma to know the details. It was so frustratingly hard to say what she wanted to say without arousing suspicion. “ Gemma… please tell me… truthfully…is there a way to get out of here? I need to… I don’t want to die…” Yuki broke off.
Gemma stared at Yuki, her face emotionless. It was almost impossible to know what Gemma was thinking. Was she thinking that Yuki was crazy or that… What was she thinking? “Come in Yuki.” She opened the door and Yuki stepped inside. Gemma shut the door behind them and locked it.
The last time she had been in this room Belladalia had also resided here. The room was split in the middle, Belladalia’s side on the right consisted of light colours – greys, blues, and whites. Gemma’s side was made up of fiery colours – reds, oranges, gold. Belladalia’s side of the room was rather neat; almost like a hotel room that had been cleaned and was waiting for the next of the guests to stay in the room. Gemma’s side of the room was more of a mess. Her bed was made but was slightly crumpled from where Gemma had been sitting. Papers and half open books were spread out on the floor and the bed. A fire crackled in the fireplace. Usually Belladalia’s side of the room would be a mess and Gemma’s would be neat. What exactly had been going on?
Gemma cleared the books from her bed. “Sit.” She ordered to Yuki. Yuki sat down on the edge of the bed, looking startled from the tone of Gemma’s voice. “Now explain to me what you were rambling on about.”
Yuki stared at the papers on the floor, trying to make sense of some of the sentences that stood out. In Yuki’s village, very little people spoke English and the English that they did speak was very limited. Yuki hadn’t been taught to read and write English properly but from her time in the Academy, she had learnt a lot but still she couldn’t read the books. Some of the sentences seemed to have been written in a different language. “I want to leave… I want to get away from the Academy.” Yuki didn’t lift her gaze from the floor. She was curious and wanted to know what the books said. But she had to concentrate on the situation she was in. “But I don’t know where to go.”
Gemma took her time answering. She wasn’t sure about what she should say. “If it was possible to leave, would I be here?”
This made Yuki look up. “What do you mean?”
“I’ve been trying to leave but it’s not possible. As far as I can tell, you can only stay away from the Academy for 36 hours at the most.” Gemma paused, unsure to continue. But something in the back of her mind told her that Yuki could be trusted. “I’ve been trying to escape but… something drags you back here. So… I’ve been working on my teleportation skills. I think… I think it can work but I’m not sure. It takes an awful lot of energy to teleport just one person. But, if you want, we can try.”
Yuki thought this over. This was her chance even if it meant almost dying. “Ne-chan, what did you mean about 36 hours?”
Gemma bit her lip and shook her head. “I don’t know. I think that something’s going on here. Something’s not right. Something… Are you sure you want to leave? If the teleportation goes wrong, we could end up dying.”
“I… I don’t care! I want to get away from people. I don’t want to be here anymore! I don’t want to be a part of this. I want to go back. I need to go back or… or…” Yuki gripped her head to stop the memories from coming back. Then she started to cry quietly, a tear hitting the floor. “Or I’m going to go insane.” She said the words so that only she could hear. She gathered her strength and said the next words so that she seemed confident. “I need to see the wise woman back at my village, or I’m going to go insane.”
Wise woman. Gemma had heard about wise women. Many were phony and told make-believe lies for money. But some were real. This wise woman had to be real if Yuki spoke about her in this way. “Who is this wise woman?”
“She’s the wise woman from the village I was born. She’s the one who predicts what the children in the village want to be before they are even born! I must see her soon.”
Gemma stood up and made her way to the fireplace, careful not to step on any of the books or papers. She knelt in front of the fire, her face glowing from the light, and outstretched her ar. Her arm went straight through the fire, the flames tickling her skin as she retrieved a small leather pouch. She stood up again and pulled out a small piece of paper. “Yuki, I’m coming with you to meet this wise woman. Once we have met her, we’ll come back here, understand?”
“Fine.” Yuki said, rather reluctantly. Yuki didn’t want Gemma to accompany her in case she did anything rash. But Yuki was sure that Gemma would help her unlike anyone else. “Are we going like right now?”
“Listen carefully otherwise it won’t work. I want you to visualize your village.” Yuki nodded. Gemma beckoned Yuki to stand next to her. And Gemma incanted in a language that Yuki didn’t understand. “Asht ny kya se tuph le si. Meta ne, meta ne.” She threw a handful of powder into the fire and then there was darkness.
Yuki’s head throbbed from the pain and she gripped it, collapsing to the floor, screaming in pain. She winced and looked around. “Rubicund-Chi… has a barrier… of sorts.” Yuki took a moment to collect herself and stood up, leaning against a tree for support.
“A barrier? Well at least we’re alive and not fatally wounded.” Gemma clutched the left side of her head which was bleeding. “Guess I got hit worse. What’s the barrier for?”
“You can’t get in by teleporting or without having a member of the community with you.” Yuki answered. She watched Gemma rip the edge of her top and create a make-shift bandage. The bandage was tied around Gemma’s head, stopping some of the bleeding.
“So what now?” From what Gemma could tell, they had landed at a clearing in a forest. Maybe the village was isolated for a reason.
Yuki stared at Gemma, her eyes stating how obvious the answer is. “We walk.”
“No more than 2 miles.”
“2 miles? You just collapsed on the floor and I’m wounded. Why don’t we rest?”
“No! I need my mind sorted out. I can’t leave it another day. We have to go now.”
Yuki was stubborn and Gemma knew that much. If Gemma didn’t obey, then Yuki would throw a tantrum. Yuki amused Gemma often but it seemed that the Bird Guardian had changed over the past few weeks. What exactly had happened? Gemma sighed. “Come on then.” Gemma started to walk swiftly in the direction of north.
Gemma flushed in embarrassment as Yuki laughed softly. “That way.” Yuki pointed in the opposite direction to which Gemma had been going. “If we don’t go the right direction, we’ll go right through it. We keep walking in the same direction and we’ll come to a path that leads to something that looks like a clearing because there’s blue above you but the colour slowly fades to red at the bottom where the tree roots should be. That’s the path that leads to the barrier; it can be a bit disorientating because the dead that die in the village guard there so their silhouettes are seen quite often. For me, it’s a pleasant walk.”
“And why is that?” The way Yuki had worded what she had said made curiosity bubble inside Gemma.
Yuki smiled at Gemma and breathed heavily, feeling better. It was nice to talk to someone that didn’t call her crazy. “I get to see my dead family while I’m on this path, other than Jio because he is still alive. But today the dead won’t be there. So I won’t be able to introduce them to you. Maybe next time.”
“Oh, right, okay.” Gemma paused as if she was going to say something but thought better of it. “We should keep walking.”
“Yeah.” The two girls carried on walking in silence. Both were lost in thought and not paying much attention to their surroundings. If they ever came again, they might pay attention to the scenery but now was not the time.
They stopped at a large, empty space. Yuki put her hand out to stop Gemma from taking another step. It was silent here unlike the rest of the forest. It was almost as if the world was on mute.
The silence was overwhelming.
Gemma wanted to speak but did not. If she spoke, she was afraid that no sound will come. She watched Yuki reach out with her hands, as large ripples appeared where she placed them on an invisible force field. She took a step forward, which was followed by another. She leaned forward, closing the distance between her forehead and the force field. She closed her eyes and she looked at peace for a few seconds. The peace was replaced by pain. Yuki clenched her teeth, doing her best not to cry out in pain. She knew her face was betraying her thoughts and was showing the pain. She felt a single tear fall from her left eye. She had to endure it. Just for one more moment. Just a little longer.
The veil broke.
Yuki grabbed Gemma’s hand, wiping the tears with her free hand. “Come. They won’t like you being here but we must continue in.” Yuki and Gemma stepped over the barrier and into the village of Rubicund-Chi.
It was less noisy than Gemma expected. She had never been to a village before but had heard stories about the villages. They weren’t as busy as the major cities and districts but they were said to be teeming with life.
A woman noticed the two. Well, the woman noticed Yuki. “Ah! Yuki! Kodai re tito da noi!”
“Hai, soti da noi.” Yuki answered. The woman smiled at Yuki and Yuki returned the smile. Gemma stood there, trying to make sense of what was being said. She knew many languages fluently but this language left her clueless. The woman went on her way, and the two moved swiftly through the crowds of people. Many of those that lived there wore rags as clothes or clothes that had been long out of fashion. Maybe the village didn’t keep up to date with the rest of the world.
Gemma kept an eye out for one person. Master. Gemma had met him before and had been rather amused by the situation. Master had come to the Academy to visit Yuki but it had turned into an argument that was funny to watch. Master had taught Yuki, Jio and Fuuma everything they knew about weaponry.
Gemma and Yuki kept walking until they reached a small tower in the middle of the village. “Tontidai! Sati da noi! Bara tino de rito?” As soon as Yuki finished what she had said, the door opened to a dark room which was barely lit by candles. A woman was inside; dressed in a dark green, silk cloak. “Tontidai, sontro douvre moy.” Yuki tutted and rolled her eyes. The old woman looked at her and smiled. Then she looked at Gemma, a serious expression across her face before grinning. Her eyes lit up as she grinned and they seemed so much younger than her actual self.
“Guardian.” She said.
“Hai, Tontidai. A ce a kure anta do. Trute don essipa.” As Yuki answered, the woman smiled and then laughed.
“I have not spoken English for a while, I am unpractised.” The woman said.
From what Gemma could figure out, Yuki and this woman had a close relationship almost like a relationship of a mother and daughter.
Yuki smiled at the woman before turning to face Gemma. “This is Tontidai, the wise woman of the town. She looked after me and Jio when out family was…” Yuki almost finished her sentence but the memories came back to her, the pain causing her to cry out in panic. She fell to her knees – how many times had she tried to push these thoughts away from herself? It only made it worse. Tontidai caught Yuki before she hit the ground. The pain was more intense this time.
Was she going to lose this battle? She hoped not. She hadn’t even said goodbye to Annie. But Gemma was here. Gemma always knew what to do. She glanced at Gemma, reading the emotions. It seemed that Gemma was confused and unsure and maybe even frightened. But that couldn’t be right. Maybe Gemma did have emotions after all.
Yuki Bell blacked out.
The sun was setting outside and a few dying rays came through the curtain, lighting the room in a warm glow. The candles in the room where almost burned out. Some was combing their fingers through Yuki’s blonde hair. It was so peaceful, yet terrifying,.
Yuki stared at the ceiling and then at the face of the woman that had looked after her for so many years. “Tontidai…” Yuki muttered. She did her best not to allow fear escape. She was not scared. Tontidai combed her fingers through Yuki’s hair as she smiled at Yuki who was lying in Tontidai’s lap.
“Hm?” Tontidai mused.
“He’s coming… isn’t he? He’s going to come again and do that, isn’t he?”
Tontidai looked away sadly, easing her fingers out of Yuki’s hair. She nodded and looked at Yuki, who was still in Tontidai’s lap, tears in the Wise Woman’s eyes.
“Can’t you do anything?”
Tontidai sighed and shook her head. “It’s advance to far. You should have come and seen me sooner.”
“But it didn’t start hurting until a week ago. I’ve had small conversations with him but that’s all.” Yuki answered. Tontidai’s eyes widened as she heard this but before she could speak, Gemma interrupted.
Gemma had found a book on the history of Rubicund-Chi and had been reading it. But something confused her. “Erm, Miss Tontidai… In this book, it says that there was a man named Inabikari… And that years after he died, he returned and killed people in search of revenge… how did he return?”
Inabikari had not felt blood on his hands for a while. But this one soul he claimed wasn’t enough. He needed to find that family – the family that had declared his death. He laughed. “Soon this blood on my hands will be the blood of my enemy.” He said; his voice did not come out as his own but as Yuki Bell’s.
“Yuki, what are you talking about?” The question came from the dark-haired teenager. The girl had a fiery aura and power within her. Was she from a noble family? Was she from the family that had declared his death? Her appearance reminded him of someone he had encountered years ago. That someone had been the bringer of war. That someone’s power was inevitably strong that the world had almost split in two. Yet that someone had wanted more power. That someone was the only person that Inabikari had feelings for. Inabikari wondered whether that person was still alive. The last that Inabikari had heard about the person was that they had been sealed for the safety of the world.
But this girl couldn’t be that person that Inabikari had fought alongside. This girl was weak compared to that person. Gemma. That was the name of this weak teenager with the fiery aura.
Tontidai stared Inabikari in the eye, recognition across her face and she stepped in front of Gemma in defence.
“Hello. How nice of you, Tonti-San, you have brought me one of them.” Inabikari grinned. He could have spent a while tracking down a member of the family but Inabikari had kindly brought one to him.
“Inabikari!” Tontidai said in disgust.
Inabikari chucked. He could have spoken in the official language of Rubicund-Chi but he chose to speak in English. He knew that Tontidai’s English was limited and speaking in English was a way of taunting her. “I’m honoured, Tonti-San remembers Inabi-dono.”
“Do not speak as though you are honourable.” Tontidai said in the same disgusted tone.”
“Hm.” Inabikari did his best to look sulky. “You are mean to Inabikari.”
“You are not a child, stop acting like one.”
Inabikari looked at the Wise Woman seriously and then reached to the hilt under Yuki’s skirt which Inabikari found exceedingly uncomfortable. He pulled out a gun and a large samurai sword. “If you wish, I will… attempt to act as an adult… but with this body, it is very hard to control myself.” Inabikari knew that the Wise Woman cared deeply about Yuki. “Uncomfortable though…” He mumbled.
“Wait, are you saying that… Yu-Yuki... is Inabikari?”