The next day I returned to the humanlands. I spent most of the day searching for magical items, though there were surprisingly few.
I was walking through an alley, when I heard footsteps behind me. I kept walking, my pace and heartbeat quickening. I hadn’t been in a confrontation for some time.
Then my attackers came into view. There were five. Regular humans.
“Stop right there!” growled one, pulling out a gun.
I raised an eyebrow. They were pulling a gun on me? Idiots.
I slid my hand into one of the pouches I wore, searching for the small relic hidden within. I retracted my hand from the pouch, now wearing a crystal ring. It immediately caught their eyes.
“Whoa…” Muttered one.
“Okay girl. No more fooling. Hand the ring over. And any other valuables you may have. Now.”
I resisted the urge to laugh. I began to move my arm.
“Freeze.” snarled the man with the gun.
I finally let the laugh out. It wasn’t a friendly laugh.
“No, you freeze.”
I pointed at him, and a beam shot from my ring. He didn’t have a chance to fire the gun. He became a solid block of ice.
The others backed away.
“D-demon…” whispered one.
I smiled now. The men screamed in terror. I advanced, until one that was braver or stupider than the others pulled out another gun.
“St-stop where you are, demon!”
I snorted. “Demon? Hardly. If I were a demon, you would not have even seen me. No, I’m not a demon. But I don’t like people pointing guns at me.
I flicked my ring, and there was yet another ice statue.
That was too much. The others ran.
I snorted. “Idiots.” I walked away.
Strolling down the street, I suddenly felt an incredible tug. It was so strong, I almost fell. I turned, and saw a house. A plain one. Then I saw a figure slip around the side of the house.
I felt another sharp tug, followed by a lance of pain.
It was a Hâfléng. What would a Hâfléng want with this house? There was only one way to find out. I strode up to the front door.
The Hâfléng vanished. A teleportation relic, probably.
I knocked on the front door. A man opened it.
“Oh! It’s you miss!”
I immediately recognized the shopkeeper that I had bought the Telmarian cloak from.
I hesitated, then nodded.
“Please, come inside,” he invited.
I nodded again.
The shopkeeper showed me into a small dining room, where dinner was on the table.
“Miranda! Pull up a chair!” He called.
A girl, around fourteen by my estimate, grabbed a chair, and pulled it up to the table. I felt another tug, closed my eyes, and used my senses to try to pinpoint its location. Then it came to me; it was the girl! The tug was coming from her.
I ate dinner, watching the girl out of the corner of my eye. She seemed normal enough…
After dinner, the girl headed away, into the house. Then the shopkeeper and his wife turned to me.
“So, miss, what brings you here?”
I leaned forward. I needed to tell this just the right way.
“Your daughter is in danger. There is something about her that could cause trouble without the proper training.” I enhanced my words with a simple charm- a spell that would put them at ease and make them believe my words.
The shopkeeper’s wife’s eyes widened.
“She is? Is that what the others meant when they came to speak to us?”
I hesitated. “People have already come here?”
The shopkeeper nodded. “They did, miss. Requested to see our daughter. Said some odd things. Something about magic. Insane, if you ask me. We turned them away, and they said they’d come back. How do we know you’re not one of them?”
I sighed. “I can promise that I am not. I am requesting to take on your daughter as an apprentice. I would keep her safe, and help her nourish her… talents.” I pushed the charm a little more. It seemed to be working- but slowly.
The shopkeeper hesitated. “That’s rather… sudden. Are you sure you can do that?”
I smiled. “Oh yes. I can. I have some of those talents myself.” I had no desire to influence common people’s minds, but this was for the girl’s own good. I enforced the charm further, doing my best to keep it small; small enough to convince them to trust me without making them suspicious.
The shopkeeper’s wife nodded uncertainly. “We’ll have to ask Miranda.”
She went off into the house, and came back a few minutes later. The girl Miranda was with her.
“I’ll do it.” Miranda told me.
I gave her a friendly smile. “Wonderful.”
The shopkeeper stood. “Wait, miss. When do the lessons start? And when do they end?”
Thankfully, my magic prevented him from asking further questions. I pushed the charm a little harder, extending it to the girl now. Her brow furrowed, and for a moment I wondered if she could sense the charm- which was ridiculous. I dismissed the thought quickly.
“Ideally, now. And they end when she is ready, which could be any time.”
“Will we be able to contact her…?”
“At any time,” I promised. I pushed the persuasion a little harder. I meant no harm to the girl, but it was in her best interest to come with me now, before the Hâfléngs realized her potential and came after her.
Finally, they were won over, and reluctantly agreed.
I stood and turned to Miranda, gesturing for her to follow. We left the house. Once we were outside, I turned to her. “Come on. Take hold of my arm. I’d advise not letting go- this may be disorienting for your first time..”
Miranda complied. She was obviously nervous, though she kept it hidden well. Already I was impressed with this girl. I decided for her sake to just walk. The cloak made this simpler- allowing me to traverse the distance between realms in a few steps. Less disorienting than a transportation spell. As long as she stayed with me, she would be fine.
She did as instructed, taking my arm, and we made it safely to Zila without any accidents- such as losing her halfway there..
Miranda’s eyes practically popped out of her head.
“Is this your home? Where is this place?”
I laughed. “Yes, this is. We have entered another realm, by the name of Simar.”
“Another realm…” her eyes were full of wonder. “There really are other worlds?”
“Worlds is a relative term, but yes. By the way, you can call me Râegan.”
She frowned as she tried to work her way around the name.
“Like ray gun?”
I smiled at the attempted pronunciation. “Close enough. Your name is Miranda, yes?”
She nodded hesitantly. “Is there something wrong with it?”
I shook my head. “No, there’s nothing wrong with it… Come on. We must begin immediately. The Hâfléngs have already found out about you, which isn’t good at all. I’m glad I found you when I did. I’m a trained Sivva, so they wouldn’t dare go after me. And since you are now my apprentice, very few people will dare mess with you.”
Miranda nodded. “What are Hâfléngs?”
“They possess minor magical abilities, but are otherwise human. I imagine they were curious about you for your magic.”
“Okay… Râegan…Are you sure I will be fine?”
I smiled. This time, it was a dangerous smile.
“Trust me, if anyone wants to mess with you, they will have to go through me first. You will be safe. I’m a dangerous opponent to mess with.”
I saw Miranda nod. “I think so. My dad talked about you a couple days ago… Said you were… odd. He said you had an air of mysterious danger around you.”
I nodded thoughtfully. “You could say that. Now come with me. You have some training to do.”
Miranda followed me dutifully, like a puppy dog. If she had any opinion on the training, she mostly kept it to herself, though she seemed to be full of barely contained excitement at the same time.
I showed her into a smaller building. Then I dumped out my pouch of magical items. Searching through them, I selected an amulet. It was a small, simple thing- a red pendant on a chain, with a surface polished smooth from many uses. As a matter of fact, this was the first amulet I had used during training and it seemed fitting to hand it over to Miranda now for her own training.
“Alright, this is the kind of amulet that we grant beginners. It has a single magical property. Normally we have students figure out what this property is.”
Miranda considered the amulet. “May I… touch it?”
I nodded handing the amulet to her as I did so.
She turned it over, and studied it. Then, as if on some instinct, she rubbed her thumb around the outer rim, and said, “Al-mira.”
The amulet began to glow.
“Impressive.” I said. “It takes most trainees much longer to figure it out.”
“How long did it take you?” she asked me.
I considered it. “Three hours,” I admitted.
Miranda nodded. “What- what does it do?”
I took the amulet from her. “Shivax.”
Immediately, an image of a large temple-like building appeared. Magic glowed from its roofs as forms, creatures created by magic to serve a single purpose, patrolled the grounds.
“This is Shivax. The capital of the Sivva’s realm. Someday, you may join them,” I told her.
“What are the Sivvas?”
I took this as a perfect opportunity for a lecture. “Take a seat. This might take a little bit.”
Miranda complied, sitting cross-legged on the floor and waiting.
“There are several theories about the beginning of the realms,” I began. “I won’t go into great extent about those, seeing as I could spend hours on that topic alone. However, at one point or another the realms were separated. There are currently five known and explored realms, and three that remain shadowed in mystery. The five known realms are your realm, Earth, which we also know as the Humanlands, Jatir, Ostar, Phoreax, and this realm, Simar. Seeing as we only have a limited amount of time, I won’t go into detail about Jatir, Ostar, and Phoreax. You know about your own realm, of course. Therefore, I will explain to you about Simar.
“Simar is the oldest out of the five explored realms. It also possesses great magic in the very air we breathe. When this realm was first colonized, nobody knows by who, the leader of the colonists instantly recognized the potential of the magic. However, he also recognized the danger, and knew it must be controlled. He formed the first order of the Sivvas. Their task since then has been to keep the use of magic in order, and prevent a gigantic magical disaster. For thousands of years, the Sivvas have endured, ensuring that the magic is controlled. Over the years our order has located those with high potential in magic, and included them into our order, training them to control their powers. And so we have grown and flourished, spreading our influence across the entire realm, training new recruits. All coming down to today, where you will join our ranks and take this honored position, following in the footsteps of millions before.”
She nodded, her eyes wide with awe.
“Anyways,” I continued, gesturing to the amulet. “This is the capitol. The heart of our empire.”
Miranda nodded, amazed. “So… it’s a scrying amulet?”
“Correct,” I replied. Then I considered something. “How did you know the proper word to activate it?”
Miranda was instantly worried. “I just… closed my eyes, and it came to me.”
Interesting. Usually, the word would only be found once you knew what the object did. But this had not been the case for her. That meant-
My eyes widened. She was a Shãya. Shãyas were very skilled with magic, as most of it came naturally. I didn’t tell her. I was glad I had gotten to her before the Hâfléngs. Who knows what they would have done to her? She was a kind girl. How on earth had a human ended up being a Shãya? I had no idea.
I carefully inspected Miranda, who was still nervous. I decided to say something to ease her worries.
“You are a natural.” I told her.
Her eyes lit up with excitement. There. She wouldn’t have known what a Shãya was anyway.
She reached for another talisman, but then retracted her hand, looking stunned. “Don’t touch it Râegan! There’s a curse on it!” She yelped in terror.
I stared at it, then stretched my hand over it. I felt the burning cold of the curse wafting off of it like steam off a waffle. (I hadn’t eaten for some time, and I was hungry) Brilliant gleaming light, dripping like syrup from that same waffle (Still hungry), came out of my hand. It collected into a mass of gold, then settled over the cursed object. There was a fizzle, and the goldenness evaporated.
Miranda smiled. “It’s gone now.”
I nodded. “Yes, it’s gone. And right now I would like a waffle. With syrup.”